Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 6, Page

Mike Ashley has been driving a Fuel Coupe for the last eight months or so but he sure hasn’t forgotten how to drive a car with a clutch and a shifter. His crew chief and tuner, Chuck Ford, proved his tune-up is both potent and transferable. Ashley picked up right where he left off at the end of his 2005 AMS Pro Mod Championship year by using superior reaction times to beat a stellar field of Pro Mods. The final round was an all-Ford affair as teammates Mike Ashley and Joey Martin met in the final round driving identically Chuck Ford-prepared ‘67 Mustang GT-500 Hemi-powered Pro Mods. Both cars ran 6.10’s with Ashley’s mount slightly quicker, recording a 6.100 to Martin’s 6.104. Unfortunately Martin red-lighted his chance away with a .348 reaction time on a .400 tree. Ashley’s 6.100 final round number was good for Low ET of the
meet as well as the win and ended a
fairy tale race for the defending Pro Mod
champ who came from the 16th
qualifying spot to win the title. Martin’s
runner-up finish, combined with
points leader Jay Payne’s
first-round loss, significantly
tightened up the points
chase with Payne now having
1,571 markers to Martin’s
1.447 total. Shelly Payne,
driving one of dad Brad
Anderson’s Dodge Strati,
qualified on the pole with
a 6.189 and Ashley was
Words by Jeff Burk
Photos by Ron Lewis and Jeff Burk
Matt Hagan
Chip King

on the bump with a troubled 6.916. There was a lot of engine and drivetrain failure at St. Louis. The 14th qualifier, Brandon Pesz, reportedly had unfixable engine damage that caused him to withdraw and No. 15 qualifier Scott Ray’s engine had a rear-main bearing failure in the final and also had to withdrew. First alternate Cody Barklage also had a rear-end failure which allowed second alternate Byron Mackey and third alternate Troy Critchley to get into the field on the AMS break rule.

Although Ashley’s move from 16th qualifier to setting low ET of the meet and winning the event was impressive, Critchley’s performance coming from the third alternate spot might have been
even more so. The
best that Critchley and
crew chief Howard
Moon could do in three
tries was a 7.83/137,
but after getting into the
field on the break rule
the Texas-based
Aussie took out No. 2
qualifier Eddie Ware in
the first round and then
trailered fellow Texas
racer Thomas
Patterson in the
second round with a
6.177/237.09 lap that set Top Speed of the meet. He then lost to race winner Mike Ashley in the semi-finals.

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