Justin Ashley Racing
PLAINVIEW, NY – Continuing a busy off-season of marketing partnership additions and renewals, 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year Justin Ashley announced today that Auto Shocker™, Biocide Systems’™ best odor eliminator on the market, has renewed their associate sponsor agreement on the Strutmasters.com Top Fuel team for the 2021 NHRA Camping World NHRA Drag Racing Series. Auto Shocker has been aligned with Justin Ashley since the end of the 2019 season and was prominently featured on his Top Fuel dragster during all 12 national events in 2020. Moving into the 2021 NHRA season, Auto Shocker and Justin Ashley Racing have a number of consumer promotions as well as social media programs in the planning stages.
“I’m proud to represent Auto Shocker and Biocide Systems’ line of odor eliminating products,” Ashley said. “They have the most effective odor eliminators on the market. Last season we had success introducing these products to the NHRA community and its audience. In 2021, we’re going to expand upon that and use all of our resources to show the world how great these products are. I couldn’t be more excited to continue our marketing partnership next season.”
The Auto Shocker branding will once again be featured on Ashley’s 11,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster and fire suit. Additionally, Ashley will continue his efforts as Auto Shocker spokesperson, contributing to online videos as well as personal testimonials through his rapidly increasing social media following. The 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year will also continue to be a media draw for radio and television interviews throughout the off-season and into the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.
PLAINVIEW, NY – Driver of the Strutmasters.com powered by MANSCAPED™ Top Fuel dragster and 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year and Justin Ashley took some time to reflect on his successful rookie season. The young driver also looked ahead to a longer than usual off-season as well as his plans and goals for the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season which will begin in March.
Was your rookie season what you expected?
Justin Ashley – “I think my rookie season went according to plan. It met and really exceeded my wildest expectations. Going into the year we wanted to run 12 races and we wanted to give ourselves an opportunity to win at every race, but at the same time we were realistic. We knew that in the Top Fuel category these are the best drivers in the world. These are the greatest teams and they are fantastic at what they do. To be able to go out there and to take the idea from paper to turn it into reality was a dream come true for me. It was more than I expected now that I am able to sit back and take it all in.”
How did the 2020 season make you a better driver?
JA – “More than anything else the more seat time you have the more you are going to experience different things. Coming into 2020 I only had very limited seat time in a Top Fuel car. We ran just three races in 2019 and a handful of test laps at the beginning of the season. Over the course of the season certain things would happen whether it was a pedal fest or tire shake or other instances where I would feel something in the clutch. The more laps you make the more you are going to experience different things, so for me it made me a better driver to get the overall experience of running races. I got a better understanding and feel for the race car.”
PLAINVIEW, NY – National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Rookie of the Year Justin Ashley announced today that Strutmasters.com will continue its marketing and sponsorship relationship with the Davis Motorsports Top Fuel team. The marketing partnership will cover the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season beginning with the historic Gatornationals, March 21-22, 2021. Strutmasters.com and owner Chip Lofton back a number of NHRA competitors throughout the various NHRA classes and his involvement with Justin Ashley Racing remains strong.
“I am thankful for the support Chip Lofton and Strutmasters.com continue to provide our team,” Ashley said. “They have been with us from the beginning and we wouldn’t be in the position we are today without them. It was great to get our first win and collect Rookie of the Year honors together last season. There are a lot of great things in store for this team in 2021 and I’m proud to continue representing Strutmasters.com on and off the racetrack.”
Winning the 2020 NHRA Summernationals in July propelled Ashley’s season and moved him to the forefront of the Rookie of the Year conversation. A semifinal finish at the U.S. Nationals and consistent performance numbers including the best reaction time average in the Top Fuel class sealed the deal for the national media panel voting for Rookie of the Year. Ashley was a regular on a number of national and regional radio shows as well as frequent subject of interviews during the NHRA FOX broadcasts.
LAS VEGAS – In one of the most unusual years in NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series history Top Fuel racer Justin Ashley prevailed as the 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year. The 25-year-old from Plainview, New York, raced his Strutmasters.com Top Fuel dragster powered by MANSCAPED™ to a victory in the rain delayed NHRA Summernationals, qualified for every national event during the eleven race season, led the category in reaction time advantage and secured ten round wins. Second generation Pro Stock racers Mason McGaha and Kyle Koretsky were also eligible for the award which was voted on by a national panel of motorsports journalists.
“This is a huge honor 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,” said Ashley, following the surprise announcement during the Dodge NHRA Finals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “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 began the season with quarterfinal finishes at the NHRA Winternationals and NHRA Arizona Nationals before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down racing until July. The reduced schedule actually played into the team’s favor allowing them to attend every race during the season and contend for the championship. As the season ramped back up Ashley became more comfortable in his racecar and continued to win rounds eventually winning the rain delayed NHRA Summernationals on Saturday during qualifying for the U.S. Nationals. The next day he was involved in a wild pedal-fest, semifinal race with eventual race winner Shawn Langdon.
LAS VEGAS – Justin Ashley’s race weekend started with the first year racer being award NHRA Rookie of the Year after the first qualifying session yesterday. Ashley, driver the Strutmasters.com Top Fuel dragster powered by MANSCAPED™, finished Saturday as the No. 12 qualifier after a couple of uncharacteristic qualifying runs. Crew chief Aaron Brooks tuned up his dragster overnight in anticipation of good racing conditions and more run data evaluation.
The reflection on the tune up paid off in a first round upset win over Doug Kalitta. Ashley ran low elapsed time of the event 3.700 seconds to get the win and even his win/loss record against the 49-time national event winner at 3-3 for his young career. The win also gave him lane choice over Leah Pruett in the quarterfinals.
The Strutmasters.com Top Fuel dragster continued its dominant performance once again running low elapsed time of the round. Ashley got the jump on the starting line again and never trailed in the drag race. His winning time of 3.777 seconds was just a tick slower than his first round time but the Rookie of the Year was full of confidence headed to another semifinal with one of the quickest race cars on the property.
MELVILLE, NY – As his rookie season comes to a close this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Justin Ashley, driver of the Strutmasters.com Top Fuel dragster powered by MANCAPED™, has checked the boxes on most of his rookie goals. Entering the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season almost nine months ago the 25 year-old driver could never have anticipated all the ups and downs that transpired. Through all the starts and stops Ashley and his team never lost focus and were able to contend for the championship and have a chance at a Top Five finish this weekend.
“We were only planning on running 12 races this season when the 24 race schedule was released. Our goal was to contend for Rookie of the Year, represent our sponsors every time we hit the track and hopefully win a race. We achieved all those goals. I hate that the season was shortened but it gave this Strutmasters.com team the chance to race the whole season and really be in the mix for the championship. I think that will pay dividends as far as experience down the road for this rookie team.”
A quarterfinal finish at the season opening Winternationals set the tone for Ashley’s rookie campaign as a driver to watch. As the No. 11 qualifier he lost to eventual race winner Doug Kalitta after defeating 2013 world champion Shawn Langdon in the first round. Ashley would consistently face some of the toughest Top Fuel drivers throughout the rest of the season. He consistently found himself racing Langdon as well as former champions Steve Torrence and Antron Brown. Last weekend Langdon offered his take on Ashley’s rookie season and impact on the class.
Houston, TX – This weekend Rookie of the Year front runner and winner of the Mopar Express Lane Summernationals Justin Ashley took a conservative and calculated approach to the race. Last week in Dallas after a career best elapsed time of 3.687 seconds his Strutmasters.com Top Fuel dragster powered by MANSCAPED developed what was best described as a “gremlin.” His next three runs at the Texas Motorplex saw his Aaron Brooks tuned race car damage parts at a rate not seen in the 2020 season. The team knew they needed to evaluate the race car leading up to this weekend’s race.
“We knew we were going to have to have a different mindset for this weekend. We didn’t want to damage any more parts and we wanted to race smart. We have a young team and this is part of the learning curve. We went through the race car the days leading up to Saturday’s qualifying and felt like we had it figured out.”
The team made two planned shut off runs on Saturday but even not pressing to the finish line the Strutmasters.com dragster that flies the decals of Truck Air Ride, Auto Shocker, MANSCAPED, Kato and Guard Lab was able to qualify No. 9 and face 2013 NHRA world champion Shawn Langdon for the sixth time in 2020. In the previous five meetings Ashley had picked up two wins and he was looking to even his record against one of the toughest drivers on the tour.