RICHMOND, VA (May 15, 2022) — Justin Ashley and the Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Shot came out of their hauler at Virginia Motorsports Park ready to make a run for the points lead. Their first two qualifying runs locked them solidly into the top half of the field and his first pass was the second quickest of the session earning the 2020 Rookie of the Year two qualifying bonus points. The team stepped up their efforts on Saturday morning posting an even quicker 3.700 second pass at 325.85 mph. In the final qualifying session after a lengthy rain delay Ashley and his Mike Green tuned Phillips Connect Toyota dragster threw everything at the track making a run for the top spot but they overpowered the conditions and moved into race day as the No. 6 Top Fuel team on the property.
Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Shot, photo by Ron Lewis Photography
In the first round Ashley pulled up beside veteran and multiple time world champion Tony Schumacher. The 2022 Winternationals winner was looking to avenge a first round loss to Schumacher at the NHRA Arizona Nationals earlier this season in their first meeting. Ashley was able to pick his lane and the three-time winner got the jump off the starting line with a strong .049 reaction time. Unfortunately, his Phillips Connect Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Shot which also has backing from Auto Shocker, Lucas Oil, and KATO Fastening Systems overpowered the race track. The immediate loss of traction combined with Schumacher’s unblemished run combined to end Ashley’s race day in the first round.
“We learn something every race,” said Ashley. “The team is doing great and one round of racing certainly doesn’t affect our attitudes and expectations moving forward. We’ll be ready for the New England Nationals.”
While his race day was not as successful as hoped Ashley knows that sometimes competition results pay dividends in different forms. The qualifying runs and bonus points contributed to positive takeaways for the third-year driver. The team also gained valuable information heading into the busy stretch run of the summer.
“I love having Dustin Davis, Mike Green and Tommy DeLago leading this team,” said Ashley. “Those are three smart guys who will take everything we learned this weekend and make this team even better. We are heading into a stretch of racing where we will be at the track almost every weekend and I can’t wait. We have a lot of positive things happening with this Phillips Connect Vita C Shot team.”
Ashley will hold onto his strong position, fourth place, in the NHRA Camping World point standings as the series moves to Epping, New Hampshire, for the New England Nationals in June.
Q1: 3.725 sec, 327.82 mph; Qual. 2
Q2: 3.700 sec, 325.85 mph; Qual. 4
Q3: 9.131 sec, 67.03 mph; Qual. 6
Bonus Points: +2 (2nd quickest in Q1)
Tony Schumacher, Lakeway, Tex., SCAG dragster, 3.792, 319.52 mph def. Justin Ashley, Phillips Connect Toyota dragster powered by Vita C Shot, 8.368, 76.72 mph def.
Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten – Top Fuel
1. Brittany Force 605
2. Mike Salinas 526
3. Steve Torrence 524
4. Justin Ashley 468
5. Austin Prock 367
6. Clay Millican 365
7 Josh Hart 345
8. Doug Kalitta 316
9. Tony Schumacher 295
10. Shawn Langdon 269