Seattle National 2015
Jeff Ashwell Makes Career Run in Seattle
Ashwell Racing, with driver Jeff Ashwell, had high hopes coming into the now completed NHRA Northwest Nationals near Seattle, WA August 7-9, 2015. The team had just come off a successful run at the Lucas Oil Regional race and the annual Night of Fire exhibition event both held at Woodburn Dragstrip in July. Jeff had made numerous consistent runs at both events, without any parts breakage, so the expectations the crew had in Seattle were great. We knew going into the event that only 12 cars were entered so making the show wasn’t a concern, what was a concern was stepping up our performance to be able to be competitive with the other teams. Team owner Todd Ashwell had just bought all new parts and had brought in tuning advisor Kirk Kuhns out of Southern California so all the ingredients were there to have a positive outing.
Q1 was on Friday afternoon and we were the first alcohol dragster to attempt qualifying and out of the box Jeff ran the quickest and fastest pass of his career with a 5.47 at 261.72, but in the process hurt the motor which necessitated an engine swap. It was much warmer Friday afternoon so the team opted to sit out Q2 and be ready to go for Q3 Saturday morning. Jeff was hoping to stay in the top half of the field but only ran a 5.54 at 257.58mph while other cars improved to qualifying in the 9th spot which left Jeff with a first round match up with Shawn Cowie.
Jeff knew he had to cut a good light on Shawn, since he had the performance advantage but instead had an uncharacteristic red light. “I saw a flash of yellow and I went, I knew I needed to cut a light on him and I just went way too early and saw red. I feel terrible about it but I can’t change it now as much as I want to”, Jeff admitted. Our incrementals show that we were on another competitive run but since the round was already lost Jeff clicked it off early to save parts.
“For the most part the weekend was pretty good but I’m always hoping for better ET’s and faster speeds and I know we are close. Time is running out though, as my racing career is quickly coming to an end,” Jeff said, who is retiring from driving at the end of 2015. “We have 3 more local races then we will make a decision to see if we want to travel to Las Vegas and Pomona again, I just want to end my racing career on a high note.”
The next race is back in Seattle at Pacific Raceways August 19-22 for the Lucas Oil Regional. Thank you as always to our sponsors Walery’s Pizza, Transpac Marinas, Odyssey Batteries, Gary’s Speed Shop, Covanta Energy, Jammies, and Wilson’s NAPA Auto.
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