As the temperatures begin rising across the country the hottest Top Fuel driver on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, Justin Ashley, is headed to the NHRA Norwalk Nationals. Last week Ashley raced the Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Energy to his second win of the season and second consecutive final round. The win moved Ashley up to third place in the Top Fuel point standings and solidified the third-year driver as a serious championship contender.
“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to win races and put ourselves in a position to win a championship by securing a spot in the Countdown. We have a lot of work to do but our four finals appearances and Winternationals and Bristol wins have resembled the start we envisioned,” said Ashley, a four-time Top Fuel national event winner. “We are going to keep working hard and focusing on being successful every weekend. The competition out here is incredibly tough.”
On the way to an emotional Father’s Day weekend victory Ashley had to outrun Josh Hart, Doug Foley, 4-time champion Steve Torrence and 2013 Top Fuel champion Shawn Langdon. It was a gauntlet that was comprised of some of the toughest drivers off the starting line, dominant teams, and veteran experience. The 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year was up to the task behind the wheel of his Mike Green and Tommy DeLago tuned Phillips Connect Vita C Energy Top Fuel dragster.
“We knew coming into race day it was going to be a tough road to the winner’s circle,” said Ashley, who won for the second time from the No. 14 qualifier position. “Races are won on Sunday and Mike Green, Tommy Delago, and the entire Davis Motorsports team proved that to be true just as they always do. Once we got by Josh, which was a very close race, we just kept getting better and better throughout the day. There were no easy rounds against a lot of tough competition which made winning on Father’s Day with my dad at the race that much more special.”
The season opened with a win for Ashley at the historic Winternationals and two races later he raced to the semifinals of the Gatornationals. In Houston Ashley raced to a runner-up finish and the next two races saw the Phillips Connect team only pick up one round win. Three weeks ago, the team got back on track with a runner-up finish at the New England Nationals followed by the triumph in Bristol. Heading into Norwalk where Ashley raced to the quarterfinals in 2021 the young driver and team owner is brimming with confidence.
“I do feel confident heading to Norwalk, but this sport will humble you in a hurry,” said Ashley. “I just want to keep getting better as a driver and working with the team to give us the best chance to win. Mike and Tommy are doing an amazing job. The team Dustin Davis has assembled is tremendous and we are having a lot of fun.”
Phillips Connect joined the team at the beginning of the season and they have enjoyed not just on track success, but they are also building a strong at track presence for their guests and fans in attendance. Two races ago they introduced the Phillips Connect technology trailer. The technology center will highlight the road safety and logistics monitoring equipment that makes it safer and more efficient to travel cross country in big rigs thanks to Phillips Connect. 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.
“Having Phillips Connect on board has been an invaluable asset to our program. Rob Phillips, Jim Epler, Amber White, and their team understand the business side of racing sponsorship,” said Ashley. “It’s an absolute joy to work together and I am especially looking forward to the future and showing off their technology center the rest of the season.”
Ashley and the Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Energy will get their first runs at Summit Motorsports Park on Friday with two qualifying passes. Saturday will include two more qualifying runs with Sunday’s final eliminations starting at 11 a.m. ET. The race will be broadcast nationally by FOX beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
Elon Werner PR