Second-generation driver Justin Ashley will advance into the Top Fuel ranks with Dustin Davis and the Davis Motorsports team. Ashley, 24, a two-time NHRA national event winner in Top Alcohol Dragster, had previously announced his intention to move into the Mello Yello ranks and that debut will now come at the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals in Charlotte, N.C., in October
“I have to say this has been a much more rapid progression than I had anticipated,” said Ashley. “I really enjoyed racing with Barry Brown in Top Dragster and Randy Meyer in Top Alcohol. I even started my own team just a year ago. But when Dustin Davis approached me with this opportunity, and after I got a chance to meet the team, I just felt this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I had to make the decision.”
The team has taken delivery of a Don Schumacher Racing-built Top Fueler, which has performed two test sessions to date. Next up is the Indy pro test prior to the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Veteran crew chief Lance Larsen is joined by Jason Bunker to lead the team, which is committed to fielding a competitive car. Ashley has already run 3.78 and says he’s getting comfortable in the car.
“I consider myself blessed to have this opportunity at this time in my life and with this team,” he said. “These are all great people and I believe we can go out, compete and win. Also, growing up around the sport, my father and I have relationships with people who are just incredible. They know who they are, and I am forever grateful for their help, guidance and genuine support. Without them I don’t believe this debut would be possible.”
When he’s not piloting the team’s Top Fueler, Ashley runs his fix and flip real estate business. To accompany his Top Fuel debut the team will launch a multi-episode online documentary, Fix, Flip and Fuel, where fans can follow his journey as he works with Davis Motorsport to build the team, test the car, and prepare for his first pro race while working his way through some of the toughest renovations you’ll ever see.
The car will be dubbed “The Influencer,” and Ashley and the team will use it to connect Ashley’s NHRA fanbase and growing social audience built around his two passions; racing and renovations.
“We’ve looked at the sport and the ability to deliver proportionate and measurable value for potential marketing partners,” he said. “We have a well thought-out program that’s relevant and effective for marketing partners to join our team at affordable price points. We’re in this for the long haul. Our preference is to develop a sustainable program for the long term. I’m excited about our program overall, on and off the track”.