Justin Ashley wins 2020 NHRA Rookie Award

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher 

“The Influencer” Justin Ashley has been named the NHRA’s top rookie for the 2020 season. He beat out Mason McGaha and Kyle Koretsky. 

Ashley was the only one of the three, who got a win on the season. Plus, he competed in more events this season, as McGaha and Koretsky did not debut until July.

“The Influencer” Justin Ashley celebrates his 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year Award
Justin Ashley celebrates his 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year Award (Photo by the NHRA)

Instead of asking the media to vote on the honor, like in years past, the NHRA just announced that Ashley won during a break before second round qualifying. 

“This is a huge honor,” Ashley said, “and I have to thank my family, my sponsors and the NHRA for giving me the chance to chase my dream of being a professional Top Fuel racer.  Thank you to Davis Motorsports, Chip Lofton at Strutmasters.com, MANSCAPED, Auto Shocker, Kato, Lucas Oil, King Engine Bearings, Justice Brothers, Sanit, Guardlab, Hero Soap Company, Menards, and Impact.

“I also want to thank Mason and Kyle for having awesome rookie seasons in a tough class like Pro Stock. I know we will all have fantastic careers,” 

Ashley is the son of former Nitro driver Mike Ashley. The younger competitor has been competing in Top Fuel Dragster since 2019. 

He went to the final round last year at the Texas Motorplex. This year, Ashley defeated T.J. Zizzo at the Denso Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Brownsburg, Indiana.

Due to inclement weather, Ashley and Zizzo had to wait nearly a month to run their final round that was delayed from the August national event. 

“The NHRA is very proud of Justin Ashley and his accomplishments throughout the 2020 season,” NHRA President, Glen Cromwell said. “Justin has proven himself as a force to be reckoned with in the very competitive Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Fuel class.”

Top Fuel Dragster pilots have won the last three events. Besides Ashley winning in 2020, Bill Litton won in 2018 and Austin Prock won in 2019. 

Tanner Gray was the last non-Top Fuel Dragster pilot to win the award. The former Gray Motorsports Pro Stock driver won the award in 2017. 

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