PLAINVIEW, NY (May 31, 2022) — After a two week break Justin Ashley and the Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster team powered by Vita C Energy are ready to roll into New England Dragway for the NHRA New England Nationals. The two-time 2022 finalist and winner of the season-opening Winternationals has high hopes as the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series shifts into high gear for the summer months. This weekend’s national event kicks off a schedule that includes three races in four weeks that Ashley feels will be perfect for his young team to continue to build momentum.
“This will be an active and exciting stretch for our Phillips Connect team to start the summer months,” said Ashley, who has qualified no worse than 6th at any of the first seven races this season. “We have an opportunity to learn, grow and continue to get better in a short period of time with races scheduled so closely together. (Crew chiefs) Mike Green and Tommy DeLago are doing a great job and the rest of the team and I are ready to put our best foot forward on and off the racetrack.”
This season Ashley has never been lower than fourth in the Camping World point standings but the 2020 rookie of the year knows that there are a lot of competitors behind him that have strong teams and talented drivers. Through seven races Ashley has faced almost a half dozen former world champions at every event. The caliber of competition in every round of eliminations has never been higher in the Top Fuel ranks. To date Ashley has held his own with a win loss record of 10-6 this season.
“When we won the Winternationals we had to beat two former world champions and Toyota teammates Antron Brown and Steve Torrence just to get to the final,” said Ashley. “There are no easy rounds because every racer out here has the talent and team to win races. The minute you let your guard down your day is going to be over in less than four seconds.”
Last year Ashley made his first Top Fuel appearance at New England Dragway which is the closest track on the current circuit to his home in New York. The second-year driver qualified No.3 but hazed the tires in his first round match-up to end his day much earlier than anticipated. This year Ashley is looking to take some of the knowledge he picked up in 2021 and continue to be one of the leaders in the class.
“Last year we were going to a lot of tracks that were first time experiences for me,” said Ashley. “I think the more times I have the privilege of racing at a particular track the more comfortable it becomes, so I am looking forward to my second race in New England. This Phillips Connect Toyota Vita C Shot team has shown we know how to perform at a high level and turn on win lights. I have a lot of confidence in our team but the competition continues to get better and that is what I love about racing Top Fuel.”
This weekend Ashley and his team will also be debuting a new asset at the track with the unveiling of the Phillips Connect technology trailer. The technology center will highlight how Phillips Connect’s over the road safety and logistics monitoring equipment makes it safer and more efficient to travel cross country in big rigs. The trailer will be used to showcase the variety of sensors and equipment Phillips Connect already has on the road with several logistics and shipping companies.
“I am excited to begin working with Phillips Connect to show off their new technology trailer this weekend,” said Ashley, who spent almost a week at the Phillips Connect headquarters in California before the season started. “This technology trailer is first-class and provides an excellent opportunity for Phillips Connect to showcase their industry leading products. It will be at all NHRA events for customers to see.”
Since Phillips Connect came on board at the beginning of the season they have seamlessly joined a strong group of marketing partners that have supported Justin Ashley Racing and Davis Motorsports for over three seasons. Ashley continues to work with Auto Shocker, KATO Fastening Systems, Lucas Oil and Toyota as well as a host of additional associate sponsors. Ashley continues to build relationships with all his marketing partners to highlight the benefits of the NHRA.
“This sport has so many good things happening right now that directly correlate to the success of our marketing partners,” said Ashley. “In addition to televised racing on FOX the ability to access fans and develop B2B relationships is invaluable. Phillips Connect and many of our partners have done an amazing job of using this NHRA platform and we will have more exciting announcements later this summer.”
The first round of qualifying for the New England Nationals will get underway Friday night with two sessions on Saturday. Final eliminations will start at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday with Top Fuel opening the day. The race will be broadcast on FS1 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET.