As a tradition established years ago, CompetitionPlus.com has asked members of the racing community to provide our readers with what they are most thankful for during this holiday season. This year's featured person is 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year Justin Ashley..

To understand Justin is to understand the drive which has fueled him from Jr. Dragster racer to Top Fuel. A second-generation driver, Justin established early on that he didn't want to ride the coattails of anyone and instead chart his own path. He has done just that.

In a span of three years, he went from Top Dragster competitor to race-winning Top Alcohol Dragster pilot. He licensed in Top Fuel in the midst of running one of the more successful real estate development businesses on Long Island. He road in business and into Top Fuel dragster was chronicled in the reality show series #FixFlipFuel (Watch HERE).

Justin scored a semi-final finish in his first-ever Top Fuel race and quickly developed a reputation as being a solid leaver en route to the 2020 Rookie of the Year. Take some time to read the words of a young driver who clearly "gets it."- Editor

I am THANKFUL for ...  My Family

My family is the most important part of my life. I am blessed with an extraordinary family. Throughout life we go through a series of challenges, but the presence of each other is what gives us strength. I am forever grateful for the relationships we share, and genuine kindness, care, and love in our lives. 

I am THANKFUL for ... Racing

I absolutely love driving a Top Fuel Dragster. I am one of the very few people in the world who get to truly see their dreams turn into reality. Racing gives me a sense of purpose other things in life simply cannot. Sure, it’s special because of the sheer competitiveness, speed, and excitement. But it’s really special because of the people. The NHRA community is filled with individuals who truly care about one another and are willing to go above and beyond to help you succeed. I’ve had countless encounters with other drivers, crew members, staff, and fans that I will always remember. I have had experiences with others that will last a lifetime. Most importantly, I have developed friendships and an extended family with so many individuals who continue to positively impact my life every day. 




I am THANKFUL for ... My Team

You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with and I am surrounded by the best. It takes a lot of personal and professional sacrifice to race at this level. There are long days on the road, countless weekends at the racetrack, and hours blood, sweat and tears poured into getting a race team ready to compete. Our team manages to do all of this at an elite level with grace, humility, and an eagerness to continue getting better. I am thankful for Mike Green, Dustin Davis, and our entire team for all they do to put us in a position to win races. But I am even more thankful for the family that we have created. 

I am THANKFUL for ... The Real Heroes

The real heroes are our military and armed forces, doctors, nurses, policemen, policewomen and firefighters. It’s easy to take these professions for granted but nearly impossible to live without them. The members of military and armed forces put their lives on the line for the betterment of our nation. The nurses, doctors, policemen, policewomen, and firefighters sacrifice hours of their time to put the needs of others ahead of themselves. I owe each of these men and women tremendous gratitude for helping me live a life of safety and peace. 

I am THANKFUL for ...  The Gift of Life

Every day is a gift from GD. Every second should be savored. Unfortunately, we have lost so many friends, family, associates, and loved ones too soon. Whether it was early in life, late in life or in between the premise remains the same. Nothing is certain. Every day is a gift, and I am thankful to share that gift with my family and loved ones.

I am thankful for… Friends 

I value the relationship I share with my friends. Admittingly, I keep a very small group of friends, so much so that I consider most to be family. This special group of people care about me as an individual. Racing aside, they prioritize what makes me happy and healthy. They are genuine and only want to see the best for me. Likewise, I only want to see the best for them and will always move at the drop of a hat to be of assistance any way I can. This is a group I am so thankful for because of their sincerity and good nature. 

I am THANKFUL for ... My Faith

My faith and trust in God gives me the courage to continue moving forward in an effort to overcome various obstacles and become better because of them. Life is beautiful. But life can be hard. My faith has given me a pillar to stand on during both the good times and the bad, and for that I am thankful. 

I am THANKFUL for ... America

This is the best country in the world, and I am grateful to live here. Living in the United States gives me an opportunity to wake up in the morning and live my dream. Too often, myself included, I believe we mistake this privilege for a right. We are so fortunate to live in a country with freedom of expression and ripe with the opportunity to pursue what we want in our lives. I am so thankful I get to chase what I want for myself and my family. 

I am THANKFUL for ... The Little Things

The little things are actually the big things. I am thankful for food to eat, water to drink, a roof over my head and so much more. This Thanksgiving I will be surrounded by loved ones enjoying each of these blessings. It’s the little things… or the big things that are so easy to take for granted, but so important to living a happy and healthy life. I am thankful to GD for blessing my family and I with these blessings in our lives and the awareness to realize its meaning.

I hope you have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.