Justin Ashley Looking To Build on Rookie Of The Year Season

What a year 2020 was for Justin Ashley.  The 26-year-old NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Fuel racer piloted his dragster to a win at the NHRA Summernationals. He nabbed ten round wins and a semifinal finish at the U.S. nationals. During the otherwise topsy-turvy 2020 season, the Plainview, New York native was as consistent as it gets, qualifying for every national event. All of that was enough to grab Justin Ashley the NHRA Rookie of the Year honors.

But that’s not enough for Ashley and his team. With the 2021 season looming, they’re looking to build on the success of last year to reach new levels.

A Quick Start

Another glamorous statistic for Ashley is that he led his category in reaction time. But his quick starts weren’t limited to individual races. They’ve been a theme of his entire career so far.

Since jumping into Top Fuel racing in 2019, Ashley’s career has taken off. But even before he started winning races, he had the attention of major sponsors–Strutmasters being one of them. When the Roxboro, NC suspension manufacturers upped their sponsorship to primary sponsor in early 2020, founder Chip Lofton said at the time, “I see a star in the making. Justin’s got it all the way around. First of all, if you just look at him as a racer. He’s got to be in the top echelon of somebody that can come off of the line quickly and take it to the other end.”


Justin Ashley won Rookie of the Year in 2020, but this year he's got his sights set on a championship.
Image courtesy of Justin Ashley via Facebook.


He could not have been more right. In addition to his success on the track, he was also a hit on the airwaves. Ashley was often interviewed during NHRA FOX broadcasts. Throughout the season, he was a fixture on several regional and national radio shows.

Great Expectations

Ashley entered last season as a young rookie without too many expectations. But after a dazzling rookie campaign, all that changes. This season, the pressure is on.

“In 2020, we came out there with nothing to lose,” said Ashley, in an interview with “There weren’t very many expectations from the outside. Obviously, from our standpoint, we had high expectations. We expected to go out and win races. But it’s against the best competition in the world. Now, maybe there are those raised expectations. A target on our back, if you will.”

But just because he and his team are expected to make even bigger waves this season, don’t expect them to change their approach.

“The truth of the matter is that half of this battle is mental,” Ashley said. “For us, nothing is going to change on that end. We’re going to go out there and race like we’ve got nothing to lose. Despite the expectations from the outside.”

Justin Ashley Looking to Build On Rookie Year

Justin Ashley is the 15th winner of the NHRA Rookie of the Year award to come from the Top Fuel category. Since 1990, 15 drivers who won NHRA Rookie of the Year honors went on to win a world championship in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. But Ashley isn’t waiting around. Many consider him and his team to be serious contenders for this year’s title.

“For right now we take it one race at time, one round at a time,” said Ashley. “But ultimately, our goal is to win every race. We’re there with the intention of being competitive. We understand that this is the best competition in the world and we have so much respect for all the other teams and the other drivers. But our goal is to put ourselves in a position to win every race that we attend.”

In interview after interview, Ashley has stressed the importance of the team around him at Davis Motorsports and beyond. He says that the team working as a unit is the key to accomplishing those goals this season and going forward.

“Anything that we do is going to flow through our team,” he said. “It’s going to flow through the group of guys that we have. So in order to accomplish those goals we have to just continue to do what we’re doing. Continue to work, continue to improve, continue to learn from our experiences. And continue to get better, myself included. We have to work together as a team and work together collectively to achieve the ultimate goal which is winning races and eventually winning championships. I think moreso than anything we just have to focus on working together, working as a group, and continuing to improve and continuing to learn as the season goes on.”


Rookie of the Year Justin Ashley is ready to compete in 2021.
Image courtesy of Justin Ashley via Facebook.


A big part of that team is his sponsors. Strutmasters renewed and expanded their sponsorship for 2021, along with several others. Ashley says that support has made a big difference as the team gets ready to compete this season.

“To be able to have companies like Strutmasters and Chip Lofton, to be able to have guys like JC and Spencer from Auto Shocker agree to come back in 2021 and agree to come back in a bigger and better way than ever, it just means the world to my team,” Ashley said to “It means the world to me. And we know it’s going to put us in a much better position in 2021 and going forward.”

Justin Ashley and his team have a chance to get one of their signature quick starts with the AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, beginning March 11 in Gainesville, Florida. Tickets are available. Click here to see the TV schedule.

About Strutmasters

Strutmasters is a manufacturer and distributor of high-quality suspension replacement kits and components. Since 1999, their reliable, Made-in-the-USA kits have been saving drivers money and helping them keep their cars and trucks on the road.

After more than two decades of designing suspension replacement kits, the engineers in North Carolina discovered something: the more trucks were being built for towing and hauling performance, the worse the ride quality got. But they thought people should be able to have both.

Now Strutmasters is offering a new line of Truck Air Ride Kits. Engineered to be the perfect solution for heavy-duty trucks, these aren’t just regular air assist kits. They’re complete Heavy Duty Air Suspensions kits for three-quarter-ton to one-ton trucks. You get to keep the powerful towing and hauling capabilities of your truck while also getting a smooth, comfortable ride.

In addition to providing a beautiful ride, the Strutmasters Heavy Duty Air Suspension kits add some more functionality to your truck. Once installed, you’ll be able to raise and lower your truck on command. That means you can drop it down when you’re loading it up or hooking up a trailer, and then raise it back up when it’s time to hit the road.

Think it might be time to give your truck the ride and capability it deserves? Call 866-360-7558 today to talk to one of the Suspension Experts at Strutmasters for more information, or to get the perfect kit for your truck.

Gaydosh To Return To NHRA Pro Stock In Gainesville

Gaydosh To Return To NHRA Pro Stock In Gainesville

John Gaydosh Jr is returning to Pro Stock with Beaver Motorsports at the 2020 NHRA AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 12-15, in Gainesville, Florida.

Gaydosh recently sold his racing operation and has been out of the driver’s seat for nearly a year.

Beaver Motorsports is making their Pro Stock team debut with the support of, Beaver Bonding, T Parke Services, MB Auto, Gaydosh Performance,, Norwood Towing, and a technical alliance of Kenny Delco Racing and Engines from Frank Inconio Racing Engines. is a primary partner of the Beaver Motorsports Pro Stock Chevrolet Camaro.

“I have always wanted to run Pro Stock,” said Beaver Motorsports owner, Mark Beaver. “I have run Stock and Super Stock for years with both NHRA and IHRA. We have 200 plus NASCAR Truck and Xfinity Starts, but drag racing is our home. We have been trying to put a Pro Stock program together for a couple of years. It all just fell in to place this season.”

“I didn’t want to leave the sport in 2018, and I had hoped I would be back,” explained Gaydosh. “Mark (Beaver) had helped as he could on my team before, and so we just came together put the necessary people and pieces in place once he took a step back from the NASCAR world.”

The Beaver Motorsports team plans to run select races in 2020 to prepare for a full-season run in 2021. The current 2020 schedule consists of 10 races, primarily at east coast events.

“I can’t wait to get back in the car and let out the clutch,” Gaydosh said. “I’ve missed it quite a bit. Anyone would! We have a good car and good power. Our alliance with Kenny Delco and the Iaconio power is great for a new one-car team. and the rest of our partners have made this comeback possible.”

Gaydosh and the Beaver Motorsports Pro Stock team will hit the track for two qualifying sessions on Friday, Mar. 13 and two qualifying sessions on Saturday. Eliminations will begin at 11 AM ET.

Ashley Struggles In Pomona Qualifying But Comes Alive In Eliminations

Justin Ashley Team Celebrates First Round Win At Pomona

Written By: Bobby Bennett –

NHRA Top Fuel rookie Justin Ashley didn’t need any inspiration to put forth his best effort at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Ca. All the Auto Club Road to the Future candidate needed was for his dragster to stay healthy, and he’d do the rest.

Ashley, who made his NHRA Top Fuel debut last season and competed in three races, caught the nitro community off-guard when in his first race, he reached the semi-finals losing a race he may have won if not for a mechanical issue. He also raced his way to a quarter-final finish at the NHRA Finals last season.

The common denominator in every race Ashley has participated in, including last weekend’s event in Pomona, the team has struggled throughout qualifying, but when everything was on the line made a run representative of what the team is capable of to get in the field. Then on race day, The team has come alive.

“I guess it’s proof of how it doesn’t matter how you start but how you finish, which means the most,” Ashley explained. “We’ve faced adversity, but we’ve also come together with Aaron Brooks, Jason Bunker, and the whole team at Dustin Davis Motorsports to overcome the challenges. For us, last weekend, we spent much of it chasing an issue with shredding blower belts.”

Justin Ashley Stages His Strutmasters Top Fuel Car in Pomona During Qualifying

“We got in the field with the 3.967, and that was basically an eighth-mile run because the belt came off early.”

Ashley opened Sunday’s final eliminations by taking out a much quicker qualifier in Shawn Langdon and did so with the first run the dragster had made to the finish line under power – a 3.726, 323.58.

“When you can face adversity as we did and come out on race day with the quickest and fastest pass for our team, that just shows our team has heart” Ashley said.

Not that Ashley needed much inspiration, he was already inspired before he arrived at the track on Wednesday to participate in the NHRA Media Day. Three years earlier on the Pomona weekend, Ashley lost one of his biggest fans and personal mentors – his grandfather Kenneth Ashley.

“Losing my grandfather suddenly was tough,”, Ashley said. “He was my biggest fan and I was his. He was somebody that I looked up to. The most important thing I learned from him was to always move forward no matter what. He had an unbreakable heart.”

Ashley, in the meantime, returns to his day-job, fixing and flipping distressed properties on New York’s Long Island, prominently featured in the online reality series, #FixFlipFuel.

“We will be back in Phoenix,” Ashley added. “I’m hoping for a much smoother weekend, but it is what it is. Whatever comes our way, I know the Dustin Davis Motorsports team can handle it.”

Strutmasters ups support for Justin Ashley, becomes primary sponsor

Justin Ashley Strutmasters

Apparently, Chip Lofton isn’t done yet, and Justin Ashley is just getting started. The founder and owner of Strutmasters, the industry-leading strut and suspension provider, has made another big move this off-season, becoming Justin Ashley’s primary sponsor.

The added support means Ashley will compete in a minimum of 12 races during the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour. It also means that the Top Fuel driver could make a serious run at the Countdown to the Championship.


Big support means big goals


The 25-year-old Ashley, who is also a successful real estate developer, expressed his excitement over the move.
“There aren’t enough words to describe just how great of a person Chip Lofton is,” said Ashley. “Chip is a champion for the underdog.”

Confidence seems to come naturally to the driver, who also stars in the television series Fix Flip Fuel. However, the additional support has Ashley and his team feeling even more optimistic about the upcoming season.

“I really feel we are a team capable of winning and have gotten to this point because of Chip’s early support of our team,” Ashley said. “Add in our fantastic line-up of associate marketing partners, and 2020 is looking brighter by the day”.


Future looking bright for Ashley


Ashley isn’t the only feeling positive about his future. The Long Island, NY native is also a candidate for the 2020 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award.

However, Lofton might have recognized Ashley’s potential before anyone else. The “champion of the little guy” signed on as a major associate sponsor weeks before Ashley and the Dustin Davis Motorsports team ever competed.

“I see a star in the making,” said Lofton. “Justin’s got it all the way around. First of all, if you just look at him as a racer. He’s got to be in the top echelon of somebody that can come off of the line quickly and take it to the other end.”

Lofton recounted some of the flashes of potential Ashley showed in his 2019 run.

“I mean, what he did at Charlotte was just amazing,” said Lofton. “And because of his close relationship with his dad through the years and working with his dad, I see not only a racer, but a fellow that’s going to be a really good businessman and entrepreneur, as a young person.”

“You don’t see that in many young people. And he loves people. Sometimes in racing, guys will just get stuck on being a racer. But he’s still a fan, and I like that about him. He’s never stopped being a fan.”

Ashley will begin his 2020 season January 30th at the PRO test session in Las Vegas. After that, the driver heads to Pomona, California February 6th for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals.

Bo Butner signs 2020 sponsorship deal with Strutmasters

Bo Butner Signs 2020 Sponsorship Deal With Strutmasters

NHRA Pro Stock driver Bo Butner has signed a sponsorship deal with Strutmasters for the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Butner, the 2017 NHRA Pro Stock champion, led the Pro Stock division in points throughout the 2019 regular season. The Indiana native has been busy in the offseason securing support for his 2020 bid.


Strutmasters and Bo Butner have big goals for 2020


Strutmasters has agreed to support Butner for the entire 18-race Pro Stock slate next season. The deal with Butner is the second major signing for Strutmasters and owner Chip Lofton in less than a week. On December 10th, Foley Lewis Racing announced a a major associate sponsor deal with “The Suspension Experts.”

In an interview, Butner expressed his enthusiasm for the support of Strutmasters.

“We have such a great team, and one that I’m very proud of,” said Butner. “We know we have a lot to offer. To be recognized by a great group of people like [Strutmasters owner] Chip Lofton and the folks at Strutmasters just means the world to us.”

An 11-time Pro Stock winner, Butner has plenty to look forward to after coming close to another championship last season.


A new look and a big boost for Bo Butner


Butner’s Strutmasters/JBA Chevrolet Camaro will get a new look heading into 2020. The car will feature his growing number of backers, including Summit Racing, Nitro Fish and Speed Dawg in addition to the and Jim Butner Auto Group logos.

The driver said that the support of Strutmasters and others has given him and his team a boost during the off season.

“It’s definitely a confidence builder to have such awesome partners, both old and new,” Butner said. “We’re looking forward to putting the Strutmasters/JBA Camaro in the winner’s circle more than once next year.”

Strutmasters inks sponsorship deal with Foley Lewis Racing

Strutmasters Inks Sponsorship Deal With Foley Lewis Racing

Former IHRA Pro Rookie of the Year (2004) Doug Foley is making his return to NHRA Top Fuel Racing in 2020. Joining him will be Chip Lofton and Strutmasters, as the company has signed on to sponsor Foley Lewis Racing for the upcoming year.

Foley announced in October that he was renewing his NHRA Top Fuel license. After finalizing the racing team’s schedule of eight races in 2020, Strutmasters was the first major sponsor to jump on board.

“It feels good to have companies like support a team that literally hasn’t competed yet,” said Foley.


Foley getting back to racing form


The Mooresville, NC-based driver last raced in NHRA Top Fuel in 2011. Foley and partner Tim Lewis returned to the NHRA in 2019. The team earned two No. 1 qualifying awards and a runner-up finish competing in the Top Alcohol division.

As a tandem, Foley and Lewis had a successful run in the IHRA in the mid-to-late 2000’s. During that time they won several national events. Foley also competed part-time in the NHRA over this stretch, making the semifinal rounds on several occasions.


Strutmasters a natural fit for Foley Lewis Racing


Foley expressed his excitement of working with Lofton, who founded Strutmasters in 1999. Lofton has become a regular figure in the pits over the last few seasons. He and his company sponsor several drivers in various classes.

“There’s a lot of teams they could go to,” said Foley. “For Chip to have the confidence in us, it means a lot. I think a lot of it had to do with our past competition. I think he felt confident that in a little bit of time we will be competitive.”

According to Foley, the partnership is a natural fit.

“I’ve gotten the opportunity on two occasions to spend some time with Chip,” said Foley “You really couldn’t find a more down-to-earth guy. Especially for someone who’s so successful. I think those are qualities that we have also, which excites me about growing the relationship in the future.”


The future of Foley Lewis Racing


Foley Lewis Racing is far from done. They are currently working on locking down more sponsorship heading into next season. However, the team hasn’t lost sight of the big boost from the Suspension Experts, who have helped jump start their 2020 bid.

“The hope is that this is the beginning of several announcements over the winter,” said Foley. “But we’re excited that somebody had the faith in us to get the ball rolling. We’ll do everything we can to represent Chip and well.”

Look: Strutmasters’ big weekend in Pomona

Strutmasters’ Big Weekend In Pomona

The scintillating 2019 NHRA racing season came to a close in Pomona last weekend. With several drivers competing in the final race of the season, founder and owner Chip Lofton was in California with other Strutmasters representatives.

Strutmasters’ sponsored drivers Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Scotty Pollacheck (Pro Motorcycle), Terry Haddock (Funny Car), Steve Graham (Pro Stock) were all part of the field in Pomona.

Here’s to the conclusion of a huge 2019 for Strutmasters racing and the NHRA overall, and an even bigger, more exciting 2020.

Thankfully, expert racing photographer Ron Lewis was on hand to capture the team in action. See his photos here:

NHRA Auto Club Finals TV Schedule | When & Where to Watch

The NHRA Auto Club Finals are this weekend in Pomona!

It’s finally here! The final race of the 2019 NHRA season, the NHRA Auto Club Finals, is coming to Pomona, California this weekend. Fortunately for those of you who can’t make it to the west coast, it’s also coming live into your living room.

The races and the promotional lead-ins will all be broadcast live on FS1. The re-airings will be broadcast between FS1 and FS2.

There is drama in the air this year as the number one overall spot in the Top Fuel division is still up for grabs.

Last year’s Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence has a respectable lead. However, Brittany Force is right at his heels in the overall points standings after her victory in Las Vegas. Billy Torrence and Doug Kalitta are also within striking distance in theory.

The Funny Car division will also feature some real drama as Jack Beckman, Matt Hagan and John Force try to topple points leader Robert Hight. Sunday is sure to be filled with non-stop tension.

Be sure to tune in to the NHRA Auto Club Finals this weekend for all the action!


NHRA Auto Club Finals

Pomona, CA


FRIDAY NIGHT NITRO LIVE Friday, November 15 5:30pm – 7:30pm ET FS1
NHRA SUNDAY LIVE Sunday, November 17 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET FS1
FINALS Sunday, November 17 4:00pm – 7:00pm ET FS1
FRIDAY NITRO LIVE Friday, November 15 10pm – Midnight ET FS2
FRIDAY NITRO LIVE Saturday, November 16 5am – 7am ET FS1
SUNDAY LIVE Sunday, November 17 9pm – 10pm ET FS1
FINALS Sunday, November 17 10pm – 1am ET FS2
FINALS Monday, November 18 3:30am – 6:30am ET FS1
FINALS Thursday, November 21 10pm – 1am ET FS2

Audrey Worm makes history, announces mostly female Top Fuel team

Audrey Worm Makes History

Audrey Worm made it official last Thursday at SEMA: she is now just the second-ever female owner/driver of an NHRA Top Fuel team. The Grantville, Pennsylvania racer made history with her announcement at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.


History in the making


Worm’s bootstraps story has been a fascinating one throughout this NHRA racing season. After she picked up sponsorship from, Worm was able to participate in several Top Fuel races.

Right from the start, she made her goal of wanting to own her own racing team very clear. This past Thursday, she was able to formally reach that goal with her announcement.

This announcement would be historic enough on its own merit. Worm is just the second female owner/driver of a Top Fuel team in NHRA history. She is the first since Shirley Muldowney in the 1970s.

“As some people may or may not know, I am the second female owner/driver of a Top Fuel team in NHRA history,” Worm said at SEMA. “The first was the legend Shirley Muldowney. I just purchased and brought home my first Top Fuel car.”


Even more history made

However, Worm wasn’t finished making history on Thursday. She followed her announcement with another monumental announcement.

“I’m also the first to do something else,” Worm told reporters. “The really, really, really big news that we wanted to announce this [week] at SEMA that I’ll be the first Top Fuel team as the owner/driver and three women – women of power and really strong women – Ashley Fye will be my crew chief and Jenna Drake, formerly Jenna Haddock, will be my car chief.”

Both Fye and Drake have quality NHRA Top Fuel resumes.

Fye served as crew chief to Scott Palmer in the early stages of his Top Fuel racing career. Drake is a former Top Fuel dragster racer and has competed in 15 national-level events. She notably upset Tony Schumacher in 2014 for a round win.


How it came together


Drake will be quite familiar with Worm’s dragster. It is the dragster she drove during her racing tenure, an ex-Anton Brown/Don Schumacher Racing chassis.
Worm credits the help of friends, family and supporters with helping her realize her ownership dream.

“I am so blessed to have the support not only friends and family, and my amazing husband Aaron Grant but also from great sponsors,” said Worm. “I would like to thank Chip Lofton at, William Francis and Kenny from Burromax, Cody from Sisson Engineering, Hap Whitlock from Hi-tech cam, Howie O’Neil, Leonard Long from G-Force Shifters, PennGrade, Duane A. Junker from Gates, Millerweld, Jim Novinger, Carrie Willhoff at Racechick, Jim Michaud, Heidi Jordan and Robert Jordan, all my RACEFAN members, and all the individuals who contributed money for making my dream come true!”


Looking ahead to 2020


With the excitement of Worm’s history-making announcement behind her, the Top Fuel owner and racer already has her sights set on making waves next season.

The team has penciled in a nine race schedule for the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour. They are also looking into adding even more dates to their calendar.

“We plan to run mostly on the East Coast, and have a commitment from our anchor sponsor,” said Worm. “I am so excited to own my own team, and can’t wait for the 2020 season, where we hope to show the boys what girl power looks like.”

Judging from the buzz that has surrounded her announcement, the racing world can’t wait either.