CHICAGO (May 21, 2023) — Justin Ashley’s bid to double up a second time, combining a Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge win with a Top Fuel race win came up short today at the Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals. Through three rounds of qualifying at Route 66 Raceway Ashley and his Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster were never slotted lower than fourth in qualifying. The 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year picked up two qualifying bonus points for posting the third quickest runs of the first and second sessions.


On Saturday Ashley, who announced the formation of a new team Maynard Ashley Racing, picked up the $10,000 cash prize for winning the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Top Fuel Challenge for the second time. Ashley won the specialty race for the first time at the Winternationals and followed that up with a race win on Sunday. His Mission Food Challenge win where he bested Antron Brown and Austin Prock gave the seven-time Top Fuel winner confidence heading into race day.


“This sport will humble you very quickly,” said Ashley. “That’s why it’s important to enjoy the wins when they come. You have to take it one round at a time and one day at a time to give your team the best opportunity to win. I’m really proud of the effort that our Phillips Connect Toyota Racing put in all weekend. We had a great day on Saturday, winning the Mission Foods Challenge and running well each round.”

Justin Ashley and Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel Dragster, photo by Gary Nastase/Auto Imagery

In the first round Ashley was the No. 4 qualifier and drew newcomer Jacob McNeal in the Scott Palmer owned Top Fuel dragster.  This was the first head-to-head meeting for the young drivers. Ashley was nearly perfect off the starting line cutting a .018 reaction time to launch the Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster. McNeal was clean off the line, but Ashley immediately smoked the tires. Ashley tried to give his 12,000-horsepower racecar a quick pedal to get it to reconnect with the racetrack, but McNeal was able to hold on for his first career round win.

“We didn’t accomplish what we wanted to on race day today, but that’s okay,” said Ashley, who has two wins this season already. “We’ve already learned from it and we’re ready to move forward. We have a good race car right now and when you look at the whole year so far, there’s a lot of positives. Mike (Green), Tommy (DeLago), and our entire Maynard Ashley Racing Phillips Connect Toyota Racing team are the best in the business. We are ready for Epping.”

While the outcome was not what Ashley was looking for, he will leave Chicago sitting No. 4 in points and looking to have another good race at the New England Nationals where he was runner-up in 2022.

Qualifying Results

Q1: 3.717 sec, 332.10 mph; Qual. 3

Q2: 3.746 sec; 329.99 mph; Qual. 3

Q3: 3.728 sec, 331.12 mph; Qual. 4

Bonus Points: +2 (3rd quickest of Q1 and Q2)

Race Results

 First Round

Jacob McNeal, Marck Recycling dragster, (.101), 3.786, 322,65 mph def. Justin Ashley, Phillips Connect Toyota dragster, (.018), 4.429, 219.08 mph

Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten – Top Fuel

  1. Steve Torrence           437
  2. Brittany Force             420
  3. Austin Prock                410
  4. Justin Ashley              406
  5. Leah Pruett                 403
  6. Mike Salinas               350
  7. Antron Brown             345
  8. Josh Hart                     342
  9. Shawn Langdon          296
  10. Doug Kalitta                293

Related Articles

Racing Updates

Phillips Connect to Start Season with Justin Ashley Racing

Justin Ashley Racing announces its primary sponsorship agreement with Phillips Connect, a national leader in semi-trailer tracking and sensor technologies, to begin the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.

Read More
Racing Updates

New Season has Justin Ashely Ready for New Challenges

After one of the busiest off-seasons of his young career team owner and Top Fuel racer Justin Ashley is ready to focus on chasing down his first NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Fuel world championship.

Read More
Racing Updates

Tough Class, But Justin Ashley Ready to be at Top

When Justin Ashley won the Top Fuel final at last October’s NHRA Texas Fall Nationals Stampede of Speed, he got the dubious treat of donning a cowboy hat, straddling a mechanical bull while trying to handle a 12-pound Wally trophy, and celebrating like a city-slicker Suburban Cowboy.

Read More
Racing Updates

Justin Ashley Wins Winternationals

For the second consecutive NHRA Winternationals Justin Ashley raced his way to the final round and today the young driver from Plainview, New York, drove all the way to the winner’s circle.

Read More
Press, Racing Updates

Phillips Connect Sponsored NHRA Top Fuel Car and Driver to Make Appearance at TMC 22

Phillips Connect kicks off the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season as a primary sponsor to Justin Ashley Racing and its Davis Motorsports 11,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragster.

Read More
Racing Updates

Justin Ashley Wants to Keep the Momentum Moving in Phoenix

The third-year pro will roll into the multi-use facility with momentum and the Top Fuel points lead after opening the 2022 NHRA season with a dominating win at the NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals last Sunday.

Read More