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JCM Racing Pre-Race Report: Las Vegas 2

NHRA Nevada Nationals

Event 20 of 21

Countdown Event 5 of 6

The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas

Oct. 27-29, 2023


Top Fuel:


JUSTIN ASHLEY

Driver of the Leatherwood Distillery Toyota Top Fuel Dragster powered by Phillips Connect


Countdown to the Championship Ranking: 4th (-108)


2022 NHRA Nevada Nationals Event Recap:

Qualified third; First round exit (defeated by Clay Millican in E1)


Last Event (Dallas):

Qualified sixth; First round exit (defeated by Clay Millican in E1)


2023 Statistics:

19 races; six wins, one runner-up finish, three No. 1 qualifiers


Career Statistics:

74 races, 11 wins, five No. 1 qualifiers


Noteworthy:

  • After winning the NHRA’s ‘regular season’ championship, Ashley is seeking his first Top Fuel world title. He begins the weekend ranked fourth and with a 108-point deficit separating him from current top-ranked driver

Fan Events:

  • Thursday, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., NHRA Nevada Nationals Fanfest driver autograph session, Fremont Street Experience

  • Saturday, 10:30 -11:30 a.m., Team Toyota autograph session at Toyota midway display

Quotable:

“Last year we were in and out of the points lead during the Countdown and there were always several teams grouped together trying to take the top spot. The field is more competitive than it’s ever been, and it’s shown throughout the first four races of the Countdown. If we can find success in Las Vegas, I believe we’ll have an opportunity for the championship in Pomona.


“Our goal from the start of the season was to win the world championship for this team and all our sponsors including Phillips Connect, Toyota, Mac Tools, KATO Fastening Systems, Lucas Oil, Impact, Strutmasters and now Leatherwood Distillery. We know what we need to do, and that begins by taking it one lap at a time in Las Vegas. Every opportunity for points is critical whether its qualifying or raceday.


“We all know you have to perform in the playoffs and we haven’t been able to capitalize on as many opportunities as we did in the regular season. But we have two more races and remain right in the thick of things. We just need to get back to our routine of stacking round wins on top of one another and let the points take care of themselves. Vegas is a city where fortunes can turn around in an instant and that is what we are going to be looking for. It will be exciting and I can’t wait to get to The Strip.”


TONY SCHUMACHER

Driver of the SCAG Power Equipment Top Fuel Dragster


Countdown to the Championship Ranking: 9th (-219)


NHRA Nevada Nationals Event Highlights:

  • Four-time event champion (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010)

  • Three-time runner-up (2002, 2003, 2012)

  • Seven-time No. 1 qualifier (2003, 2006 - 2008, 2010, 2012, 2017)

The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Overall Highlights:

  • Eight-time event champion

  • Five-time runner-up

  • Four-time No. 1 qualifier

2022 NHRA Nevada Nationals Event Recap:

Qualified fourth; Semifinal finish (defeated Rob Passey in E1, Shawn Langdon in E2; defeated by Brittany Force in E3)


Last Event (Dallas):

Qualified 12th; First round exit (defeated by Billy Torrence in E1)


2023 Statistics:

19 races; one runner-up finish


Career Statistics:

553 races; 86 wins, 88 No. 1 qualifiers


Fan Events:

  • Thursday, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., NHRA Nevada Nationals Fanfest driver autograph session, Fremont Street Experience

Quotable:

“Vegas has been an amazing track for our team. I’ve won here several times and I’ve also been fortunate to have been able to lock up championships at Vegas, too. We enjoy coming to Vegas for so many reasons though. There’s so much to do and The Strip is one of the nicest facilities on the schedule. Also, it’s crunch time, which makes it all the more entertaining for the fans. We will start to see the championship decided here. Teams will step up out of necessity. Some teams will implode. It just comes with the pressure.


Funny Car:


TIM WILKERSON

Driver of the SCAG Power Equipment/Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang


Countdown to the Championship Ranking: 8th (-225)


The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Overall Highlights:

  • 2008 event champion (Spring race)

  • 2022 event runner-up (Spring race)

  • 2019 No. 1 qualifier (Spring race)

2022 NHRA Nevada Nationals Event Recap:

Qualified seventh; First round exit (defeated by Chad Green in E1)


Last Event (Dallas):

Qualified ninth; Semifinal finish (defeated Alexis DeJoria in E1, Bob Tasca in E2; defeated by Matt Hagan in E3)


2023 Statistics:

19 races; two wins, one runner-up finish


Career Statistics:

589 races; four wins, 20 No. 1 qualifiers


Fan Events:

  • Thursday, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., NHRA Nevada Nationals Fanfest driver autograph session, Fremont Street Experience

Quotable:

“We’ve only got two races left in the Countdown and I’m pretty excited about how my car’s been running as of late. Not to mention, we were runner-up at the Spring race in Vegas earlier this year, so we’ve got some good momentum heading into this weekend. Our SCAG/LRS Ford has been quick and consistent. I’ve lost a lot of really close races at these last three events, so hopefully, this will be our time when we can bring home the Wally and really start racking up points for the season’s end.”


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