Budds Creek, MD - Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock title contender John Montecalvo has nothing against some of his fellow competitors having good weekends; he loves to have them himself. But when it comes at his expense, well, that's another story ...
Budds Creek, MD - Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock title contender John Montecalvo has nothing against some of his fellow competitors having good weekends; he loves to have them himself. But when it comes at his expense, well, that's another story entirely. Montecalvo, of Center Moriches, NY, came away from the previous race, the Amalie Oil Northern Nationals at Epping, NH, locked in a tie in the championship points chase with Jon Yoak. With just three events to go, Montecalvo knew that every round from that point on was absolutely crucial.
Realizing that something must go in a certain direction, however, and getting it to go that way is often a tough and frustrating task. This weekend at the President's Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway was an agonizing case in point for Montecalvo. While rival Yoak was setting a new speed record for the Pro Stock class, Montecalvo's Citco-sponsored Monte Carlo only made it the full length of the track once in three qualifying attempts.
Fortunately, his lone pass of 6.683/208.49, was good enough to get him into the field in the number twelve spot, in spite of not being good enough to give him lane choice at the tricky Maryland quarter mile.
In the first round of eliminations, Montecalvo was paired up with defending champion Chris Holbrook, who, after a season riddled by horrible luck, was due to break loose at any time. It couldn't have come at a worse time. Once again, Montecalvo was on the "do unto" side of the coin as Holbrook's 6.719/209.26 inched out his 6.724/208.17 by a margin of 0.004. It goes without saying that a first round loss was the last thing the Citco team needed at this juncture in the season. And a dwindling season it is, as there are just two events remaining on the 2000 schedule, the Mopar World Finals in Shreveport, LA on October 12-14, and the rescheduled CARQUEST Autumn Nationals at Rockingham on November 4-5.
So Montecalvo and his crew have their work cut out for them. But they have been battling hard all season, and the competitive fire that got them this far has not gone out, by any means. Once they throw a little more fuel into the flames, the fight to the wire this year should be a real edge of the seat affair.
After Yoak's loss in the second round, IHRA announcer Aaron Polburn couldn't have said it any better when he uttered, "Somewhere on the grounds, John Montecalvo jumped as high as a phone pole."
So did he? Yeah," Montecalvo chuckled. " And I lost my cell phone in the process."