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Justin Ashley impresses in Top Fuel debut, looks towards the future

Justin Ashley 's new Strutmasters dragster.

Justin Ashley had about as good a Top Fuel debut as anyone could have hoped for. This past weekend in Charlotte, the Long Island-native gave an exciting preview of where his NHRA Top Fuel career might be headed.

The 24-year-old Top Fuel rookie blew all expectations out of the water. In Monday’s eliminations at zMAX Dragway, he defeated not only fellow 24 year-old sensation Austin Prock, he also beat then-No. 3-ranked Mike Salinas.

Ashley made it all the way to the semifinals before he lost to the eventual winner and current number one overall Steve Torrence.

Prock was one of the many to take notice. He lost to Ashley on a holeshot (a slower elapsed time, but a win due to having a better reaction time at the starting line).

“First time I got beat on a holeshot all season, and you know, it was a good one,” said Prock. “The kid’s new and he was cutting great lights all weekend. He was .040 against me and my .061. So I did a good job, but he did a better job.”

 

Justin Ashley is ready

 

Although he’s a Top Fuel rookie, Justin Ashley has plenty of resources to draw on. One of those is his father and multiple-time Funny Car and Pro Mod champion Mike Ashley.

His father’s experience has helped him assemble a quality team. Ashley hired on highly-skilled and experienced tuner Aaron Brooks for his debut race.

It’s awesome to have Aaron on our team,” said Ashley. ”I have a tremendous amount of respect for Aaron as a person and as a crew chief; he’s a championship-caliber crew chief and he’s an even better person, so to have him in our corner really means a lot.”

Another key piece of the puzzle was shoring up quality sponsorship. Ashley accomplished that when he signed with Strutmasters.com last month. All-in-all, it makes for a strong package that put the racing world on notice in Charlotte.

“I got the best team in the world. I’m so proud of them,” he said. “This Strutmasters.com Top Fuel Dragster was rippin’ all weekend.”

 

Staying Focused

 

While Ashley still has competition left in the 2019 season, his impressive debut has many wondering what’s next. For now, the rookie is trying to stay grounded.

“I’m just taking it one run at a time, trying not to make anything bigger than it really is,” Ashley said. “I’ve just been focusing on one qualifying run at a time, one eliminations run at a time. I’m just trying to stay in my lane and focus on being the best driver I can be and helping my team to be successful.”

As for 2019, the team will compete in the final two races of the season in Las Vegas and Pomona. The reason for the abbreviated season is to allow Ashley to keep his rookie status for the 2020 season.

In doing so, the young driver may enter 2020 as the favorite to win the Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award. The award crowns the NHRA’s top rookie across all pro categories.

 

What lies ahead for Justin Ashley?

 

Team owner Dustin Davis, has been impressed with Ashley’s mentality

“He’s calm and cool and does the same program every time,” said Davis.

For now, Davis is trying to temper expectations for the upcoming season.

“After this year, I think we’re still pretty focused on running a limited schedule for 2020,” said Davis. “Obviously, if we get additional funding, we might add to that, but I don’t know that it will go immediately to a full season.”

Strutmasters.com, who signed on to sponsor Ashley’s 2019 races, is expected to extend its deal with the team. Big names RE/MAX IQ and Lucas Oil have agreed to sponsor at least the remainder of this season.

Although he is riding high on his Top Alcohol wins and impressive Top Fuel debut, Ashley is aware of the work he has in front of him.

“I feel pretty confident, but this is a new challenge for me,” Ashley said. “There’s certainly going to be a learning curve, and I expect that, which is why I’m looking forward to spending the time testing and getting some more laps. The more laps I make, the more comfortable I’ll feel.”

“I expect to go out and be successful with this team. However, I know it’s going to take some time for me to get used to certain things in the car. Feeling when it’s spinning or shaking the tires, or when a run is going good or not going good.”

Justin Ashley feels confident that the team strategy of getting experience in the 2019 season was the right move.

“We wanted to give ourselves a chance to win at every race we go to in my rookie season,” said Ashley. “we agreed that the best way to do that was to get a head start this year.”

NHRA Carolina Nationals | TV Schedule

We know you’re just as excited as we are about this weekend’s NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, NC. We’ll be out there supporting our drivers and we hope you’ll be there too!

For those of you who can’t make it, here’s the NHRA Carolina Nationals TV schedule so you don’t miss any of the action!

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
ROUND DATE TIME CHANNEL
FRIDAY NIGHT NITRO LIVE Friday, October 11 9:00pm – 10:00pm ET FS1
NHRA SUNDAY LIVE Sunday, October 13 1:00pm – 2:00pm ET FS1
FINALS Sunday, October 13 2:00pm – 5:00pm ET FS1
RE-AIRS
FRIDAY NITRO LIVE Saturday, October 12 9:30am – 10:30am ET FS2
FRIDAY NITRO LIVE Saturday, October 12 Midnight – 1:00am ET FS2
NHRA SUNDAY LIVE Sunday, October 13 8:00pm – 9:00pm ET FS2
FINALS Sunday, October 13 9:00pm – 10:00pm ET FS2
FINALS Monday, October 14 9:00pm – 10:00pm ET FS1
FINALS Thursday, October 17 9:00pm – 10:00pm ET FS2

Strutmasters sponsors Dave Richards’ Funny Car at Carolina Nationals

Strutmasters.com has signed on to sponsor driver Dave Richards at the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals. The driver, representing Paul Richards Racing, will bear the Strutmasters.com logo on his Ford Mustang Funny Car at the event.

 

Dave Richards joins the Strutmasters racing team

 

This development is yet another pickup for the “Suspension Experts.” Strutmasters made headlines throughout the 2019 racing season for its racing sponsorship.

Just last week, the company announced it would sponsor Justin Ashley’s Top Fuel debut. In addition, the company supports several other drivers such as Johnny Pluchino, Wally Stroupe and Audrey Worm.

Strutmasters.com joins an established roster at Paul Richards Racing. The company is part of the same team of sponsors that includes long-time supporters, such as Upper Cut Turf Management, FarmBoy Custom Co., and Prestige Site Works.

“Companies like Prestige Site Works, Upper Cut Turf Management, and FarmBoy Custom Co. are the reason I’m able to race,” Richards said. “I’m really grateful for their continued support and adding Strutmasters.com to the lineup is the extra boost we needed. We haven’t been at a race since Atlanta. That time off has allowed us to devote a good amount of time looking over things. I think we fixed some of our issues.”

 

Dave Richards looking ahead to 2020

 

The additional sponsorship comes quite late in the season. However, Richards hopes to use the late-season boost to set the tone for next season.

“Knowing we’re going to be back out there competing with the best of the best in the NHRA is exciting and our whole team is ready to get to zMAX [Dragway],” he added. “Hopefully after this race, we’ll have some good news to share about our 2020 season in the class.”

Why your Lincoln Navigator has suspension issues and what to do about it

Has your Lincoln Navigator been seeming down lately? Even if you don’t have a suspension warning light on your Navigator, you may have noticed other symptoms of a worn out suspension.

Perhaps the most common sign of Lincoln Navigator air suspension failure is a sagging rear end of the vehicle. Another way to tell if your suspension has gone bad is if your Navigator does a “nose dive” when coming to a stop. That’s when the rear end lifts up and the front end dips down.

You may also have noticed a noisy air compressor in your Navigator. It may not even be able to maintain proper ride height.

If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms with your Lincoln Navigator, you likely have air suspension trouble. But why?

Let’s explore some of the common reasons for Lincoln Navigator air suspension failure.

 

A heavy load

 

The Lincoln Navigator is a big vehicle. That’s probably part of the reason you got it.

While that size is great for carting the family or cargo around, it comes a price. It makes for a very heavy vehicle. At around 6,000 pounds unloaded, that’s a lot to ask of an air suspension.

Over time, this load will bear down on your air suspension system. Components like the air bags, which use compressed air to support the weight of the vehicle, need to be made of flexible materials.

Those materials, like rubber and plastic, can only do the job for so long. They are prone to wearing out or even rotting and cracking.

Once there is a weak point in the airbag, all that weight bearing down on it will accelerate the problem.

 

A complex system

 

Air suspension systems provide an excellent ride. The active suspension is able to read the road surface and make instant adjustments to the suspension. This makes for an extremely smooth journey.

However, in order to do so, the Lincoln Navigator relies on a complex system of electronics, mechanical parts, and components made of flexible materials.

Although this system makes a great ride, it relies on every component in the chain working properly.

For example, your Navigator has four ride height sensors. One at each wheel. These read the height of the car and send that information electronically to a control module.

The ride height sensors in your Navigator are moving parts. Like all moving parts, they will eventually wear down and need replacement.

However, if your ride height sensor isn’t functioning perfectly, it will throw the entire system off. This will cause other components to wear out more quickly as they operate at less-than-ideal efficiency.

This is true of almost any of the nearly dozen components in your Lincoln Navigator air suspension system.

 

How to fix your Lincoln Navigator suspension

 

After considering everything you know about air suspensions, does it seem like it makes sense to spend thousands to fix it?

Probably not. But what choices do you have?

You could save a little money by going with third-party air suspension parts. But that will just leave you in the same predicament down the line as you wait for them to fail.

However, you do have another option. You can get rid of that air suspension altogether and replace it with something sturdy, simple, and reliable.

Strutmasters offers several kits to replace your Lincoln Navigator air suspension with a robust mechanical coil suspension.

These conversion kits are made right here in the USA to ensure high quality. They will replace two or all four wheels of your Navigator at a tiny fraction of the cost of what a new air suspension would cost you.

Once you install the conversion, you’ll notice that your ride feels more or less the same. With Strutmasters’ patented Glide Ride Technology, you’ll enjoy a ride that’s comfortable and on par with your air suspension.

Rather than the dozen or so components involved in your air suspension, these kits rely on simple cold-wound mechanical coils and a robust steel strut to support your Navigator.

In fact, these kits are so simple, many of our customers choose to install them at home. With packaged instructions and an installation video online, even the novice DIYer should have no problem installing their new struts.

This means even more savings on top of not having to buy a new air suspension.

 

Ready to convert?

 

Don’t let a bad air suspension bring you and your Lincoln Navigator down. Make the switch today!

Order online or call us at (866) 715-6013 to speak to one of our Suspension Experts. They’ll help you get exactly what you need to get back on the road with confidence!

Enjoy your Harley-Davidson more than ever with this one simple mod

Harley-Davidson riders sure do enjoy the road. Built for riders, Harley-Davidson motorcycles offer incredible comfort and support. They are especially adept at handling long-distance rides.

But did you know there’s a way to enjoy riding your Davidson even more?

EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Shocks are the “talk of the town” these days. Many Harley owners around the country are learning just how much nicer their ride gets once they install one.

So, how do they make your Harley-Davidson ride better? Let’s take a look.

 

Save your wrists (and your rear!)

 

The first thing you’ll notice after installing an EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension is a new level of comfort. If your Harley is normally at an 8/10 in terms of comfort, this air suspension cranks it to 11.

While the stock suspension on your Harley-Davidson is well-tuned and rated for your machine, it doesn’t compare to the level of precise dampening offered by air struts.

On your standard struts, you’ll feel a lot of those dips and bumps in the road. Over time, that will wear out your wrists (and your rear!).

Air struts will dampen those dips and bumps much better. Your new ride will feel like floating on air, because that’s exactly what you’ll be doing!

 

Adjustable ride height

 

Not all riders are built the same. As one of the world’s most popular brands, Harley fans come in all shapes and sizes.

However, the bikes are built with the “average person” in mind. That’s great for people who are “average” size, but how many of us are actually “average” sized?

Shorter riders often find it difficult to mount and dismount from their bikes. EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Shocks give you the ability to drop the bike down to make it easier to mount. Then, you can raise the bike back up to whichever height suits your trip.

Taller riders might find that they have limited leg room on their Harley-Davidson. By raising the bike a little, they can extend the distance between the seat and the footpegs. This will give riders extra leg room. Anyone who has flown on an airplane knows how much of a difference that can make.

 

Adjustable support and stiffness

 

Harley-Davidson riders are explorers. That means you won’t always encounter the same road types and conditions along the way.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to adjust the stiffness of your suspension to accommodate changes in the road? Well now you can!

The EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension allows you to do just that. Our Ultimate kit makes that possible with just the push of a button.

Adjusting the stiffness of your suspension will allow your bike to be better prepared for whatever road you may tackle next. For example, you can employ a softer suspension for when you’re just cruising around town, or along long, straight roads. When you need sportier handling, you can make it tighter.

Additionally, this has the added benefit of increasing support for your passenger so they’ll enjoy the ride more, too. Rather than have to adjust your riding style to account for the extra weight, you can simply increase the amount of support your passenger has.

 

Ready to convert?

 

If you’re ready to enjoy your Harley-Davidson on the next level, order from our website or give us a call at (866) 684-0528. One of our Suspension Experts will be happy to line you up with the perfect kit for your Sportster, Dyna series, Softail or other Harley-Davidson!

Johnny Pluchino eyes first Extreme Pro Stock win at Darlington

Johnny Pluchino is ready to grab his first Extreme Pro Stock series win.

It’s been a busy year for Johnny Pluchino. In addition to dominating the Pro Outlaw 632 series, Pluchino has manned the wheel of the Strutmasters Mustang in Extreme Pro Stock.

Heading into the PDRA Fall Nationals, Pluchino is looking to nab his first career Extreme Pro Stock win.

 

Pulling double duty

 

Pluchino’s main focus heading into the 2019 season was to defend his title in Pro Outlaw 632. He was aware that he would probably be pulling a double at some point this season. However, he didn’t realize it would happen so soon.

“My dad started the year in the Extreme Pro Stock car, but at the North-South Shootout before the first qualifier, he said it was my time to get behind the wheel.”

Pluchino said this came as some surprise.

“I was about as shocked as I could be since I wasn’t supposed to race the PDRA events,” said Pluchino. “He wanted me to get in the car to get some seat time since we were going to be racing some NHRA events. Doing this while racing Pro Outlaw 632 also has been an awesome experience but at the same time it’s difficult.”

 

Adjusting to Extreme Pro Stock

 

There is a world of difference between the Extreme Pro Stock class and the Pro Outlaw 632 class. While it looks like Pluchino is in great position to win back-to-back championships in the Pro Outlaw 632 class, there has been an adjustment in the Extreme Pro Stock class.

“The Extreme Pro Stock car shifts differently,” said Pluchino. “You have to account for my weight difference as a driver. It takes a lot to get used to driving one of these cars. We’ve had to make some minor adjustments to the car for me as a driver. In Extreme Pro Stock you have to be on your game and it’s been a slight learning curve but I feel comfortable now.”

Clearly, the adjustments are already paying off. There have been consistent improvements in his performances. He even reached the final round of the NHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock exhibition back in July.

 

Ready for Extreme Pro Stock success

 

Pluchino and his team appear to be hitting their stride at just the right time as they head into the Fall Nationals in Darlington.

“I think we have a fast race car, but we’re going to need to be consistent to win,” says Pluchino. “As a driver, I’m going to have to be on my game as far as taking care of business in the car. We’re going to try some different things like changing the gear ratio to help the car and do as much testing as we can before the event. The difference between winning and losing in Pro Stock is just a few thousandths of a second, so we need to be as ready as possible.”

Pluchino credits his father for helping him make the leap.

“I appreciate the opportunity my dad has given me by stepping out of the car and letting me jump in,” Pluchino says. “He’s done so much to assist me in chasing my dreams as a driver and I can’t thank him enough for that. His support is so critical when it comes to this racing operation.”

The PDRA Fall Nationals take place at Darlington Dragway in Hartsville, South Carolina October 4th-5th. Fans can watch Johnny Pluchino go for his first Extreme Pro Stock win in his Strutmasters Mustang at SpeedVideo.com.

This one mod turns your Honda Shadow into the ultimate touring machine

The Honda Shadow is already a wonderful touring motorcycle. It’s got reliability and comfort along with a V-Twin engine that’s made for big, open American roads.

However, did you know that your Honda Shadow can get even better?

Riders all around the country are starting to learn about the advantages of adding an EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension to their Shadow. These owners find that the new addition takes their Shadow from great road bike to the ultimate touring machine.

Here are some of the ways an EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension will improve your Honda Shadow riding experience.

 

Take your Honda Shadow from great to amazing with an EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension!

 

Touring-friendly suspension

 

Touring on your Honda Shadow is already a pleasure. That’s probably one of the main reasons you bought it. But don’t you think it could just be a little more comfortable?

While the standard forks on your Honda Shadow are sturdy and reliable, they don’t do the best job at dampening the dips and bumps in the road.

The EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension is perfect for touring. Air-supported struts absorb much more of the “travel” when the bike goes over uneven road surfaces. That means you’ll feel less of them.

Without the constant knocks and vibrations, your wrists (and your behind) will breathe a sigh of relief. The lack of soreness and fatigue means you’ll be able to put more hours in on your Shadow each ride.

 

Even passengers will enjoy better touring

 

Let’s face it, even the Honda Shadow with all its space and amenities isn’t great for passengers. Motorcycles are typically built for just the rider. Passengers are almost always an afterthought.

However, with an EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension, your passengers will enjoy more support and comfort than they’ve ever had before.

This air suspension can be adjusted for support. That means that you can accommodate the extra weight with ease. No need to adjust your riding stance or turning angles.

The adjustable support gives you the opportunity to tune your suspension to give you and your passenger the best possible ride. That means more touring time on the bike for both of you.

 

Adjustable stiffness for touring flexibility

 

Rarely ever do you go out for a long ride on your Honda Shadow simply to find a long, straight road that never changes.

Rather, Honda Shadow owners are the type to seek out variety.

That variety means you’ll face different road grades, altitudes and even surfaces. Rather than one “jack-of-all-trades” suspension, wouldn’t you prefer to be able to adjust for these changes?

With the EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension you can do just that.

With your new air suspension you’ll be able to adjust your suspension’s stiffness to accommodate changes in the road.

This is not only more comfortable, but safer as well. When you can adjust for stiffness, you can tailor the handling of the bike to whatever road your own. This means a safer, more secure ride.

 

Options for your Honda Shadow

 

Currently, Strutmasters offers two packages to upgrade your Honda Shadow to an EZ Rider Air Suspension.

Our basic package does everything you need it to. You can raise, lower and adjust the stiffness of your Honda Shadow to your liking.

With the Ultimate package, you can adjust your air suspension with just the touch of a button.

Can’t decide which to buy for your bike? Call one of our Suspension Experts at (866) 676-4457. They’ll help you figure out what’s best for you and your Honda Shadow.

This fall, take back the road with an EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension!

Strutmasters sponsors Justin Ashley in NHRA Top Fuel debut…and beyond

justin ashley new car strutmasters

Driver Justin Ashley and Davis Motorsports are on schedule to make their NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series debut at the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals. Ashley’s car will be sporting the name of his new big sponsor, Strutmasters.

The company signed on to serve as Davis Motorsports’ primary sponsor for three events in 2019. Strutmasters will also extend its sponsorship into 2020 as a “Major Associate” sponsor.

Ashley is moving up from the Top Alcohol division.

 

Justin Ashley and his new crew chief Aaron Brooks

 

Justin Ashley and Davis Motorsports have also enlisted the help of tuner Aaron Brooks as their new crew chief.

When it came to choosing a crew chief, Davis Motorsports team owner Dustin Davis knew exactly the right man for the job–Aaron Brooks.

“I have to say after our initial talks and now working with Aaron I can see clearly why he’s our guy. He is a breath of fresh air, and he is extremely knowledgeable and detail-oriented. We are a rookie team in the professional ranks, but we want to compete, and I sincerely believe Aaron gives our team the best chances of winning.”

This lineup is brand new. However, Ashley and Brooks’ relationship goes all the way back to 2008. At that time, Brooks worked on a Funny Car driven and owned by Justin’s father, Mike.

“I have known Aaron since I’m 13 years old when he was on my dad’s crew,” Ashley said. “Aaron is exactly what we are looking for. He’s a proven winner, a great leader and he’s got a lot of experience running different combinations.”

 

Justin Ashley a good fit for Strutmasters

 

It has been a huge year for the North Carolina-based company. Ashley is the latest addition to the Strutmasters sponsorship portfolio. Strutmasters owner Chip Lofton has made sponsoring up-and-coming drivers like Ashley a signature part of the company’s racing brand.

Davis Motorsports is releasing an online documentary #fixflipfuel. The documentary will go live alongside Ashley’s first race. It will feature Strutmasters as well.

“I am excited to come on board as a sponsor of Justin Ashley and Davis Motorsports,” said Chip Lofton, founder of Strutmasters. “It’s exciting to see young new drivers enter the sport and I’m proud to be a part of their team.”

“We’re looking forward to a successful marketing partnership with Strutmasters,” said Ashley.

“We are going to work hard on and off the track to deliver measurable and significant value for the company,” Ashley said. “I traveled to Strutmasters to meet Chip, get a tour of his impressive facility, and learn about his company. Chip’s life story, his enthusiasm for his business, and his love for the sport of drag racing was so inspiring. I’m looking forward to representing Chip and Strutmasters.”

Give your Honda Shadow the suspension it deserves

The Honda Shadow is one of the world’s most popular motorcycles. Since 1983, riders of all shapes and sizes have enjoyed long hours on this cruiser. The one thing they have in common? They love their Honda Shadow.

And there are plenty of reasons why. Since the 80s, the bike has been designed around comfort, reliability and rideability. For drivers who enjoy long trips, it is simply one of the best choices around.

However, did you know you can dramatically improve the comfort, style and performance of your Honda Shadow with just one modification?

The EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension is a revelation in Honda Shadow upgrades. Your bike deserves the best. Here are some of the reasons why you’ll want to consider this upgrade right away.

 

Make your Honda Shadow more accessible

 

As one of the world’s most popular motorcycles, Honda Shadow drivers are naturally a diverse group. Like all bikes, the Shadow is designed for the “average” person.

That means many people are left with a bike that’s either too tall to easily mount, or too short to comfortably cruise on.

One of the main benefits of an air suspension is that it gives riders the ability to raise and lower the suspension on demand. That means much greater accessibility for all riders.

Shorter riders can easily lower the bike in order to make mounting and dismounting easier. Taller riders can raise the bike for extra leg room while driving.

Adding an EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension to your Honda Shadow makes it more user-friendly than you could have ever imagined.

 

Enjoy longer rides on your Honda Shadow

 

However, the biggest perk of adding a motorcycle air suspension to your Honda Shadow is probably the added comfort you’ll get.

Air suspension is an active suspension. Think of it as a “smart” suspension for your motorcycle.

It reads changes in the road surface and instructs the suspension to respond immediately. This changes the stiffness and height of the suspension.

The result is a ride that glides along the road, reducing dips and bumps. As a driver, you’ll notice the extra comfort right away.

That extra comfort goes a long way on those extended road trips. With the need for fewer breaks, you’ll get even more miles in when it’s time to ride.

 

Enjoy lowrider status on your Honda Shadow on demand

 

Our basic kit allows you to drop your Honda Shadow down when you want. That means you can achieve the always-cool lowrider look whenever you want.

Better yet, you can enjoy that look and then pop it back up when you don’t want to scrape anymore.

The Ultimate kit allows you to do all this with just the push of a button. You can even raise and lower the bike while you’re on it!

This adjustable suspension isn’t just about style, though. Different suspension settings are appropriate for different road surfaces and conditions.

Enjoy a stiffer, sportier suspension when the situation calls for it. Drop it down when it’s time to cruise “low and slow.”

 

Treat your Honda Shadow today!

 

As you can see, these kits are the ultimate upgrade for your Honda Shadow. We think both you and your bike deserve it.

Order online or call one of our Suspension Experts at (866) 985-0387. They’ll be happy to give you a professional opinion about your bike and ensure you’ve got exactly what you need.

Happy riding!