Eight races into the NHRA regular season Justin Ashley and the Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster team powered by Vita C Energy have raced to three finals with one victory in the bank. Two weeks ago at the New England Nationals Ashley just missed picking up his second win of the season and heading into the Thunder Valley Nationals the 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year is poised to get on a hot streak rolling into the heart of the summer.
“We made a good run in the final round at Epping and we just got beat by a quicker run,” said Ashley, “It was a classic drag race. We took our shot and Mike Salinas took his, and he ended up coming out on top. Overall, it was a very successful weekend, and we are ready to get back at it in Bristol.”
For Ashley and the Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel team this season is a continuation of their sophomore campaign which saw the young team owner and driver contend for the championship until the very end of the season. The 2021 season also showed his racing operation could contend with the multi-car teams. An off-season technical alliance with Antron Brown Motorsports has added to his Davis Motorsports operation and provided crew chiefs Mike Green and Tommy DeLago with additional sounding boards. Overall, Ashley team has made significant strides at every race since the season opening win at the Winternationals.
“We came out of the gate hot winning the Winternationals with a new sponsor Phillips Connect onboard which was huge for us,” said Ashley, a three-time Top Fuel national event winner. “We have been to the final round at two of the last four races. This Phillips Connect and Vita C Energy team is really gelling well and getting to a track like Bristol Dragway only adds to the excitement.”
This will be the first time Ashley will be competing at the Thunder Valley Nationals on the traditional Father’s Day weekend. Last year the event was pushed back later in the season with Ashley qualifying fifth and racing to the semifinals. The second-generation racer is excited to celebrate his father as well as all the fathers that follow NHRA racing.
“It will be cool to have my dad, Mike, at the track this weekend on Father’s Day,” said Ashley. “He is my biggest supporter and I have learned so much from him. It would be great to get another win this season on Father’s Day weekend and celebrate with him. I also like the fact we will be able to see so many fathers at the track this weekend. NHRA is a family sport and I love being able to meet so many generations of fans.”
Last weekend Ashley and his team debuted a new asset at the track with the unveiling of the Phillips Connect technology trailer. The technology center highlights how Phillips Connects over the road safety and logistics monitoring equipment makes it safer and more efficient to travel cross country in big rigs. The trailer will be used to showcase the variety of sensors and equipment Phillips Connect already has on the road with several logistics and shipping companies.
“I was excited to show off Phillips Connects’ new technology trailer,” said Ashley. “This technology trailer is first-class and provides an excellent opportunity for Phillips Connect to showcase their industry leading products. It will be at all NHRA events for customers to see.”
Since Phillips Connect came on board at the beginning of the season they have seamlessly joined a strong group of marketing partners that have supported Justin Ashley Racing and Davis Motorsports for over three seasons. Ashley continues to work with Auto Shocker, KATO Fastening Systems, Lucas Oil and Toyota as well as a host of addition associate sponsors. Ashley continues to build relationships with all his marketing partners to highlight the benefits of the NHRA.
The first round of qualifying for the Thunder Valley Nationals will get underway Friday night with two sessions on Saturday. Final eliminations will start at noon ET on Sunday with Top Fuel opening the day. The race will be broadcast on Fox beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
Elon Werner PR