ROOKIE TAD DRIVER JUSTIN ASHLEY PACES NHRA LODRA DIV. 2 QUALIFYING
And a rookie shall lead them.
Rookie Top Alcohol Dragster driver Justin Ashley, who is making his driving debut in NHRA Lucas Oil competition, heads into Saturday's first round of eliminations as the No. 1 seed at the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 2 in Gainesville, Fla.
The second -generation Ashley, son of two-time NHRA Pro Mod champion Mike Ashley, ran a 5.205 elapsed time at 278.86 miles per hour to claim the top spot.
"I'm excited to compete in this class," said Ashley, who made extra laps at Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School in the weeks prior to the event. "I spent the week prepping with Frank Hawley who was tremendously helpful, and then time with Randy Meyer.
"This one is for my grandfather who passed away last month."
Slipping into second was teammate Megan Meyer, who ran 5.239, 274.55.
Ulf Leanders paced the Top Alcohol Funny car division with a 5.487, 267.53.
Other low qualifiers included Rodney Rosenstiel (Comp), Bill Skillman (Super Stock), Geoffrey Turk (Stock), Kevin Brannon (Top Dragster) and Jeffrey Barker (Top Sportsman).