Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals
Ashley enters final eliminations as the ninth qualifier
Today it diagnosed itself. When a car has all new parts such detection can be similar to finding a needle in a haystack.
“It was a blessing in disguise,” Ashley said of the brief explosion and fire. “When it happened, it engaged the clutch completely and it caused us to spin the tires and pop the blower.
“Everything on this car is new, so it was a faulty part to start with. It had slowly deteriorated and once it let go then we knew. It's better that it happened today than on Sunday.”
Ashley came into the second day of qualifications for the NHRA FRAM Autolite gunning for consistency and a baseline for Sunday’s final eliminations. He succeeded on all counts as he produced a 4.913, 311.70 during the final session despite a wisp of tire smoke in the last 300 feet of the run. He wasn’t the quickest of the session but not the slowest either. Ashley concluded qualifying with the eighth quickest lap of the session.
Ashley, in only his third race driving the new Knoll Gas – Torco Race Fuels-sponsored Funny Car managed by DSR, muscled his way into the show with a 4.851, 314.09.
Ashley enters Sunday’s eliminations as the ninth quickest Funny Car in the sixteen-car field. He will meet former teammate Phil Burkart in the first round of eliminations.
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