Saturday, June 15, 2024

Justin Ashley claims third No. 1 qualifier of season at Maple Grove

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

MOHNTON, PA — Phillips Connect Top Fuel Dragster driver Justin Ashley is the No. 1 qualifier on Saturday. The New York native will lead the field on Sunday during eliminations in the class.

Ashley was the provisional No. 1 qualifier on Friday at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pennsylvania. Then, he had to observe the Jewish New Year before coming back on Saturday.

Phillips Connect Top Fuel Dragster driver Justin Ashley lights the candles during his pass at Maple Grove Raceway
Justin Ashley lights the candles during his pass at Maple Grove Raceway (Photo by the NHRA)

He went 3.687 at 335.57 mph at his home track. This is Ashley’s third No. 1 qualifier of the season.

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“We feel great,” Ashley said. “You’re trying to put yourself in the best position to win the race on Sunday and I feel like we accomplished that. We went down the track three out of four times, and we had that .68 in the quickest session, but tomorrow is going to be different in a lot of ways. It’s going to be faster than what we’ve seen. Inherently, there’s more pressure because the playoffs are on, but it doesn’t change our approach. Our mentality is to continue to do the same thing that we’ve been doing since the start of the year.

“There’s a reason we’re in the position that we’re in now. I think it’s easy to get wrapped up in it being the playoffs and changing what you’re doing or focusing more intently. But we take every race the same way, playoffs or regular season. There is more pressure, but as a group, we’ve stuck to our guns that we’re to have fun, we’re here to have a good time, we’re here to win. I feel confident in the group that we have and I feel confident that we’re not going to let the pressure get to us.”

Ashley will face Scott Farley in the first round of eliminations. Farley, who was the No. 16 qualifier, went 4.137 at 284.51 mph.

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Monster Energy-sponsored Top Fuel Dragster driver Brittany Force is the No. 2 qualifier. Force, who previously sent a record at the track, went 3.689 at 336.57 mph.

The California native will face Jacob Opatrny in eliminations. He went 3.972 at 282.84 mph.

Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster driver Doug Kalitta is the No. 3 qualifier. The Michigan native went 3.696 at 331.45 mph.

Kalitta will face Josh Hart in the eliminations. The Florida native went 3.798 at 327.90 mph.

Capco Contractors Top Fuel Dragster driver Steve Torrence is the No. 4 qualifier. The Texan went 3.698 at 332.43 mph.

He will face Mike Salinas in the eliminations. The California native went 3.795 at 319.60 mph.

Marco Tools Top Fuel Dragster driver Antron Brown is the No. 5 qualifier. The Indiana native, who was born in Chesterfield, New Jersey, went 3.716 at 329.50 mph.

Brown will face Doug Foley in eliminations. The North Carolina native went 3.755 at 322.11 mph.

Other pairings include Shawn Langdon and Dan Mercier. Another is Clay Millican and Leah Pruett. Austin Prock will face Tony Schumacher.

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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