By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Strutmasters.com Top Fuel Dragster pilot Justin Ashley won his first career national event on Saturday. He won the delayed Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals at Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Brownsburg, Indiana.
Ashley defeated T.J. Zizzo in the final round. Like Ashley, Zizzo was attempting to get his first win, before the New York native secured the Wally.
The Strutmasters pilot went 3.958 at 267.96 mph to claim the Wally. The Rust-Oleum pilot went 4.056 at 276.75 mph in the losing effort.
“I’m going to have to hold back tears because this is a dream come true for me,” Ashley said. “To be here means the world to me. Truthfully, it’s not about me, but all the guys on this team and all the partners that have supported us to help get us to this point. Make no mistake, this trophy is for my dad (Mike Ashley) and we’re coming home with the win.”
This was the first final round since Englishtown 1997 when there were two first-time finalists in a Top Fuel final round.
Ashley had a better light compared to Zizzo. The Strutmasters.com pilot went 0.036 compared to Zizzo, who went 0.081.
During the race, Zizzo had problems as he dropped cylinders and the engine exploded.
Ashley also had problems, as he blew a blower belt, but was able to hold on for the win. He is now the 109th driver to win a race in the Top Fuel category.
This is just the fifth-time in NHRA history in Top Fuel, where the No. 14 qualifier won a race. The last time it happened was in 2007 in Norwalk, Ohio.