Top-ranked drag racer Justin Ashley chats w/ KSTP Sports at Vikings Camp

Interview with NHRA Top Fuel points leader Justin Ashley

As Justin Ashley stood on the sidelines at Vikings Training Camp in Eagan, it was an elite professional athlete from one sport observing the work of fellow elite athletes in another.

Ashley is having a breakout season as a drag racer in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). He heads to this weekend’s annual NHRA stop at Brainerd International Raceway as the points leader in the Top Fuel class. He’s won the last two events and six so far this season.

Click the video box on this page to see KSTP Sports’ Chris Long chat with NHRA Top Fuel points leader Justin Ashley about his breakout season, what it feels like to drive a car 330 miles-per-hour, and the chance – as a football fan and former college player – to meet Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

The Long Island-native was invited to visit Vikings camp in Eagan before heading to Brainerd for the 41st annual Lucas Oil Nationals. He chatted with Kirk Cousins before Thursday’s practice session and swapped jerseys.

The scene on the practice field was familiar for Ashley, who played college football before starting his pro drag racing career – he was a receiver at Division-III Ithaca College in New York.

Ashley and the Top Fuel racers run qualification heats Friday and Saturday in Brainerd. Should he advance, he’ll go for his third straight event win in the finals on Sunday.