LEICESTER, N.Y-Sometimes the bad fortunes trade off with a good one every once in a while. Team Castellana came into the 11th annual CARQUEST Empire Nationals full of optimism and for good reason. When the team's trusty 1957 Chevy driven by ...
LEICESTER, N.Y-Sometimes the bad fortunes trade off with a good one every once in a while. Team Castellana came into the 11th annual CARQUEST Empire Nationals full of optimism and for good reason. When the team's trusty 1957 Chevy driven by Castellana failed to make the cut, his teammate and engine tuner Shannon Jenkins went on to cut the field.
Castellana was coming off his best pro modified performance from the last IHRA tour stop in Cordova, Ill., when he qualified the Western Beef-sponsored '57 Chevrolet ninth and reached the second round of eliminations for the first time this season a month ago.
In addition, the supermarket-chain owner from Westbury was racing in his home state, about 350 miles from his Long Island home. Then there would be the help from teammate and nitrous guru Jenkins.
The start of the racing weekend on Friday fortified those hopes. Castellana did well as he landed in the 15th spot with his quarter-mile pass down the New York International Dragway in an elapsed time of 6.367 seconds at 216.69 mph.
Then it all went south for Castellana at this Upstate New York track on Saturday. He had a less than spectacular run of luck on his first pass with a time of 9.767 seconds. He then missed the cut on his final try with his elapsed time of 15.44 seconds when his pro mod made a quick move toward the centerline, causing him to shut down early.
Going into the weekend, Castellana said, "We have had one of those seasons than has been anything but textbook. We have always had all the right parts, but it's the little stuff has always bit us in the rear."
Those words eventually would haunt him.
Jenkins, however, held up his end, but the Alabaman needed the final run to do it with his pass of 6.275 seconds at 222.55 mph, finishing as the sixth quickest qualifier for eliminations. He went on to beat Quain Stott in the final round.
Castellana has two weeks to make further adjustments before the IHRA swings into Stanton, Mich., for the 20th annual CARQUEST Northern Nationals from July 27-29.