Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Justin Ashley Misses Three-Peat at Texas FallNationals

Looking to become the first Top Fuel driver to win three NHRA Texas Fall Nationals titles in a row Justin Ashley brought the Leatherwood Distillery Top Fuel dragster powered by Phillips Connect into eliminations with high hopes. As the No. 6 qualifier on the strength of his 3.661 second, 336.20 mph run Ashley matched up with veteran Clay Millican in a tough first round match-up between Countdown championship contenders. The team owner and driver was bringing momentum from a strong final round of qualifying pass that saw him earn a qualifying bonus point as one of the three quickest Top Fuel dragsters of the final session.

The Leatherwood Distillery Top Fuel dragster rolled up for the first round against Millican as the final pair of Top Fuel dragsters to open race day. In a wild first round several top contenders dropped races on a cool and quick Texas Motorplex all-concrete racetrack. Ashley continued his domination on the starting line getting a great start with a .037 second reaction time as his 11,000-horsepower race car launched off the line. As he accelerated his Goodyear slicks briefly overpowered the track while Millican was on a smooth run beside him. The momentary loss of traction robbed Ashley of critical momentum and allowed Millican to move in front. At the finish line stripe Millican earned the win light and Ashley turned his attention to getting ready for the Nevada Nationals in two weeks.
“We just missed it a little on that first run,” said Ashley, a six-time Top Fuel winner in 2023. “We are going to learn from this weekend and get ready for Las Vegas. Our Leatherwood Distillery Top Fuel dragster powered by Phillips Connect did some really good things in Dallas that we can take with us and apply moving forward. We’re excited to get back to work.” 
At the end of the day Ashley, who entered the Countdown as the No. 1 seed will move to the fifth race of the playoffs sitting in fourth place 108 points out of first with two races left in the season.
“We are not out of this championship hunt. The best thing we can do right now is win these last two races and let the points take care of themselves. It’s a tall task but there’s no quit in this team. Thank you to everyone from Leatherwood Distillery, Phillips Connect, Toyota and all of our partners that support us. We’re going to finish the season strong.”
Ashley will be on track again in two weeks at the NHRA Nevada Nationals from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

This story was originally published on October 16, 2023. Drag Illustrated

You May Also Like


The star-studded STREET OUTLAWS: No Prep Kings series is set to return for its 6th season in the summer of 2023. Fans can expect to...


Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings star and renowned engine builder Pat Musi joined the recent episode of The Wes Buck Show and provided an update...


Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings star Lizzy Musi announced today that she has been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer via her Youtube channel....


Ryan Fellows, who starred in “Street Outlaws: Fastest in America,” died in a tragic crash while filming for the show in Las Vegas on...

Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.