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Justin Ashley Takes Points Lead with Runner-Up Finish at Las Vegas NHRA Four-Wide Nationals

Justin Ashley and the SCAG Power Equipment Toyota Top Fuel team leave The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the points lead after a runner-up finish Sunday at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.

This was Ashley’s 10th runner-up finish, second of the season and his 22nd career final round appearance. It was the first time Ashley had reached a final round at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Now with 351points, Ashley has taken over the Top Fuel points lead.

The final quad of the first of two four-wide format events would be made up of Ashley, motorsports legend Tony Stewart, reigning world champion Doug Kalitta and four-time champion Steve Torrence. Kalitta would ultimately get the win with a 3.715 at 333.58 with Ashley bringing in the SCAG dragster at 3.745 and 333.82 and .040 reaction for the runner-up finish beating Torrence on a holeshot. Torrence would be third with a 3.745 at 334.40 and .062 reaction time while Stewart was fourth at 3.769 and 324.51.

“I thought it was a very good weekend. When you look at everything start to finish, we feel very proud of what we accomplished. Although we fell just short it’s a testament to how good this Top Fuel field is going to be all year long,” Ashley said. “I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing team on and off the racetrack. It’s so much fun working, learning and growing with the group that we have. I’m looking forward to Charlotte.”

Ashley, qualified No. 10, started his race day winning his first round quad with a 3.777 second run at 329.18 mph advancing to the second round with Terry Totten and his 4.092 at 287.78 ending the day for Tony Schumacher and Shawn Reed.

In the second quad, Ashley would be second with a 3.798 at 298.01 and a .050 second reaction time beating out Clay Millican who had a 3.789 at 336.23 but a .101 reaction time. Ashley advanced with Stewart.

In Funny Car, Dave Richards with the Versatran / BlueBird car and Daniel Wilkerson with the SCAG Ford Mustang Funny Car raced in the same first quad of race day. Richards would be third to the finish line with a 4.637-second pass at 216.27 mph and Wilkerson would be fourth after smoking the tires for only a 7.286 at 118.58. JR Todd (4.356 at 257.43) and Ron Capps (4.289 at 222.88) would advance to the second quad.

The SCAG Racing team will race four-wide for the last time this season at zMAX Dragway for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte April 26-28.

This story was originally published on April 16, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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