Shreveport: Montecalvo race notes

Gilliam, LA - This season's phenomenal performance upsurge in Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock competition shows no sign of leveling off in the near future, and that could spell disappointment for many of the class regulars come the season-ending...

Gilliam, LA - This season's phenomenal performance upsurge in Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock competition shows no sign of leveling off in the near future, and that could spell disappointment for many of the class regulars come the season-ending tilt at Rockingham. Normally, the season would have drawn to a close with the conclusion of this past weekend's Mopar Parts World Finals at Shreveport. But a rain-out of the CARQUEST Autumn Nationals earlier on led to the November 4&5 rescheduling, and a second "final" for the 2000 season.

Over the course of the last several races, a four-way dogfight for class supremacy has developed, with Jon Yoak, Ron Miller, Tom Lee and John Montecalvo all trading punches in an effort to claim top spot as the season draws to a close. Montecalvo, of Center Moriches, NY, was in command for much of the year, with Ron Miller offering the most serious challenge at most races. But recently, both Lee and Yoak have raised the bar in a big way, shattering established World records for ET and MPH seemingly at will.

At Shreveport, the regular racing was supplemented with the traditional Sunoco Showdown on Friday. After the first round of qualifying, the field was set for the showdown. The top four qualifiers were named Lee, Miller, Yoak and Montecalvo. Heading into the semifinals, it was Yoak versus Montecalvo and Lee versus Miller. Talk about the cream rising to the top! Montecalvo and Miller both lit the red bulb, and Lee went on to dispatch Yoak in the final, rewriting the record books once again with an ET of 6.586.

At the conclusion of the three qualifying rounds, it was now Lee, Yoak, Miller and Montecalvo in the first four slots. In round one, Montecalvo, behind the wheel of his Citgo-sponsored '97 Monte Carlo, rode a major holeshot to victory over Tim Nabors to advance. Facing Jerry Yeoman in round two, however, Montecalvo uncharacteristically left too early for the second time of the weekend, and gave away a round win that he desperately needed in order to stay in the thick of the points chase.

In the final, it was Yoak and Lee in a flip-flop of the Sunoco Showdown result, with Yoak taking the win this time, adding not only points but also competitive fuel to the fire of his championship aspirations for 2000. Heading into Rockingham, Montecalvo now holds down the number four spot with 679 points, with Lee (697), Miller (708) and Yoak (777) in line ahead of him.

If ever the stage was set for a knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish, it has to be looming at "The Rock" in just three weeks time. John Montecalvo finished third in 1999, and you know that he wants to equal that at the very least, and improve on it if possible. But with performance standards now having reached the 6.58/211 level, there's a whole lot of work to be done in just 21 days. This will be something special.

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