Fast Start has Top Fuel’s Justin Ashley Pushing for More at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

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NORWALK, OH – June 20, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – In a loaded Top Fuel field that features five world champions in the top 11 spots and a host of other standout drivers, nobody has been better through the first eight races of the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season than Justin Ashley.

The 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year has won half the races against a star-studded field and will looking to keep his hot start going at this weekend’s 17th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park.

Heading to one of the finest facilities on the NHRA tour, Ashley was particularly dominant two weeks ago in Bristol, winning a unique doubleheader weekend in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect/Toyota dragster. That gave Ashley his third and fourth victories already this season, but knowing the Top Fuel talent around him, the championship hopeful isn’t satisfied.

Next on the list for Ashley is a chance for his first victory at Summit Motorsports Park, and this weekend’s event winners will also receive third-generation Ice Cream Scoop trophy, which makes it a perfect pairing with a championship Wally on Sunday.

“It means a lot to start like this and it’s a result of the team we have,” Ashley said. “You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with and I feel comfortable saying we have the best in the business and I think it’s shown. Four wins in only eight races is certainly an accomplishment, but we can’t get too ahead of ourselves. We know and understand how good this Top Fuel field is, so we can’t stay stagnant. We need to continue to get better because everyone else is doing the same thing.”

Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won the 2022 event in Norwalk, and this year’s race will be broadcast on both FOX and Fox Sports 1 (FS1), including eliminations on FOX beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 25. It is the ninth of 21 races during the 2023 season and the annual trip to “America’s Racetrack” is always a marquee one for drivers and fans alike.

Along with incredible fan amenities, drivers have continually praised the racing surface in Norwalk, where Ashley will try to put together another memorable weekend. In addition to the four event wins, Ashley also has three victories in the new Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge to lead all drivers. The bonus race, which features a semifinal rematch from the previous race, takes place during Saturday qualifying and hands out bonus points and a bonus purse.

On Saturday in Norwalk, Ashley will take on Austin Prock, while the other rematch features Antron Brown and Doug Kalitta. Ashley has won both the challenge and race on two separate race weekends this year and will look for a third against a loaded field that also includes reigning world champ Brittany Force, Steve Torrence, Clay Millican, Leah Pruett, Salinas, Josh Hart, Shawn Langdon and Tony Schumacher.

“You just have to trust the process and we do,” Ashley said. “The competition is so stiff. Sure you want more consistency, but the depth of the field is so strong, every round is so tough, you’re going to have those ebbs and flows. It’s a long year, so we trust and understand what we’re doing, and I have all the confidence in the world in my guys and this team. It’s just great to get off to a good start early in the year.”

Hight’s first career Funny Car victory in Norwalk came last year, while Ron Capps, the back-to-back defending world champ, grabbed the points lead with his Bristol win. The rest of the field includes Matt Hagan, who has three 2023 wins, Cruz Pedregon, J.R. Todd, Tim Wilkerson and John Force. In the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday, Capps will rematch Chad Green and Alexis DeJoria takes on Hight.

In Pro Stock, Enders picked up her second straight win in Norwalk a year ago en route to her fifth world title. After winning in Bristol, Enders will look to keep rolling in Norwalk against the likes of points leader Dallas Glenn, Deric Kramer, Matt Hartford and Aaron Stanfield. Enders races Greg Anderson in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday, with Kramer taking on Cristian Cuadra in the other matchup.

Gaige Herrera has dominated in Pro Stock Motorcycle this year, winning the first three races of the season in the category. He fell to Steve Johnson in the finals in Bristol, while others to watch include defending world champ Matt Smith, Joey Gladstone and Eddie Krawiec. In the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday, Herrera will take on Angie Smith and Johnson will meet up with Hector Arana Jr.

The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, as well as the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports and Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown. After nitro qualifying on Friday, fans can enjoy a fireworks display that has been the perfect capper to night qualifying over the years. Autographs will also take place during the weekend at the Suzuki, Dodge and Mission Foods Midway Displays.

Fans are invited to the Nitro Alley Stage, which will help create a festive atmosphere leading into Nitro Alley. The Nitro Alley Stage will be the main entertainment hub in the pits when the Camping World Drag Racing Series competitors are not on the track, hosting Nitro School, meet and greets, music and more. As always, fans get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Norwalk. They can see teams in action and servicing their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and also visit NHRA’s Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

Race fans Norwalk can also enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan favorite SealMaster Track Walk. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the Norwalk event winners.

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, June 23 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 24 at 1 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 25. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday, 7 p.m. on Saturday, and then eliminations on FOX at 4 p.m. ET Sunday.

To purchase tickets to the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, fans can visit or call 419-668-5555. For more information about NHRA, visit

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About NHRA

Headquartered in San Dimas, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 21 national events featuring the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports, Flexjet NHRA Factory Stock Showdown™ and Top Fuel Harley Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and NHRA Street Legal™. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street® program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League® for youth ages 5 to 17. With 120 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services® (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. NHRA’s streaming service,®, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates three racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park; and In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip in Southern California. For more information, log on to, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube.

Source: National Hot Rod Association

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series