O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals
Ashley more than prepared for Dallas challenge
Case in point, during a tight championship battle, Ashley once sat out a day of qualifying in observance of Yom Kippur. This weekend marks Rosh Hashanah, the start of the Jewish New Year. One important similarity between the Jewish New Year and the American one: Many Americans use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, making "resolutions." Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the New Year.
For Ashley, he plans to use this weekend as a launching pad to build on momentum he’s gained since July when he took over as the driver on Evan Knoll’s new Funny Car team. Ashley and his talented crew chief Brian Corradi have had three weeks to prepare for the moment.
Last weekend's event in
"Time away from the track enables you to run more scenarios through your mind and create scenarios and how to deal with them," Ashley said. "We have reviewed every race since
That's the mental preparation. Ashley's racecar is another story.
"Any time Brian has the opportunity to go over the car in extreme detail is great for us," Ashley said. "That's exactly what he's been able to do in the past week. He always studies every aspect of the car, but the extra time has enabled us to study the car even further and enhance every performance aspect."
Ashley has special incentive to perform at this weekend's event. Just four years ago, while racing in the Pro Modified division, Ashley debuted a new sponsor and drove his classic 1941 Willys to the winner's circle. That triumph marked his first win in NHRA competition and he's since become one of the winningest drivers in the class as well as a two-time world champion.
"That was just a special weekend," Ashley recalled. "We were able to win big for Infinet Insurance and my great friends Richard Kearby, Chris Layne and Doug Hasty. It was a magical time for all of us."
Ashley will be looking to rekindle that magic as he heads into Friday's first qualifying session. One year ago, Ashley qualified eighth for the sixteen-car Funny Car field.
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