Don't tell me this was not in the works before Torco backed out????? ASHLEY SECURES MAJOR SPONSOR FOR 2008 Written by CompetitionPlus Friday, 11 January 2008 Ashley forms partnership with Roger Burgess and ProCare Rx to carry Gotham banner into 2008 and beyond Less than 48 hours after learning of his longtime sponsor's sudden and unexpected hiatus from drag racing, Mike Ashley has acquired primary funding for his NHRA Funny Car team for 2008 and beyond. Ashley today announced a racing partnership with ProCare Rx Chairman and Founder Roger Burgess with the goal of fielding the ultimate championship drag racing team. Ashley and Burgess will initially field one nitro Funny Car with racing standout Melanie Troxel behind the wheel, and will aggressively seek additional long-term sponsorship to field a second Funny Car in the NHRA. "I wasn't sure what we were going to do," Ashley recounted. "I got the announcement and it was obviously stunning. I was on the way to Indianapolis to talk with the team when Roger called me and asked what I was going to do about the 2008 season. "My initial response was that it was such short notice that I wasn't sure what we would be doing and I didn't know if we were going to be able to continue long term. Roger immediately hopped on a plane and met me at the shop in Brownsburg [Ind.]. "After a tour of our facilities and a couple of hours of meetings, Roger was impressed with the dynamic organization and the reputation we had achieved of fielding championship teams, we decided to join our racing operations together - his R2B2 Racing any my Gotham City Racing - to build a world-class, drag racing organization." Burgess said he is excited about standing side-by-side with Ashley in their exploits on the drag strip. Burgess is himself a drag racer, having recently earned his license to drive a Pro Mod and actually competed in his first national event at Las Vegas in October of 2007. "Mike and I had been talking about working together in the Pro Mod ranks, but after the turn of events and after reviewing his incredible operations, I knew that the time was right to get involved with the nitro team," Burgess said. "We're alike in a lot of ways - mainly our own personal drive for excellence, and Mike's organization is the very best I've seen. He's surrounded himself with the very best people, and has worked to develop each individual to be the very best they can be. It doesn't take long to feel the positive energy in this organization, and I'm incredibly excited to be a part of something so powerful," he said. Ashley and Burgess said they plan to retain Top Fuel pilot-turned Funny Car Captain Melanie Troxel to lead their charge into 2008 behind the wheel of the ProCare Rx Dodge Charger R/T. ProCare Rx is one of the nation's largest prescription drug management companies. ProCare Rx was the 2007 title sponsor of the NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, N.J. as well as the sponsor of the $50,000 ProCare Rx Pro Modified Clash. Troxel said, "It's amazing that in such a short amount of time we went from a team that didn't know what was going to happen to being right back on track and ready to start the season. I think this is going to be a great opportunity for the entire team and I know that everybody is excited to have Roger on board." Ashley said his own Funny Car driving will be limited in the start of the season as the duo searches for additional primary funding for both cars as well as other racing operations. "We have everything we need to run a second Funny Car including trailers, parts and a stellar crew, but we're only going to run that car at select races until we gain complete funding for the entire operation," Ashley said. "Although my Funny Car driving time will be limited, I am planning on driving my Pro Mod this season, and I'm looking forward to taking an active role in looking for corporate sponsorship for our exciting new partnership. We are involved in several other negotiations and are looking for more sponsors, but with this dynamic partnership and our incredible team already in place, I'm more excited than ever about this season," he said.