Stanton: John Montecalvo race report

Montecalvo Pulls Out All the Stops in Bid for Performance Boost in Michigan Stanton, MI - New York State paving contractor John Montecalvo is determined to make an impact on the Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock class before the end of the 2001...

Montecalvo Pulls Out All the Stops in Bid for Performance Boost in Michigan

Stanton, MI - New York State paving contractor John Montecalvo is determined to make an impact on the Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock class before the end of the 2001 season, but with only five events remaining to be contested, he also realizes that the window of opportunity is slowly closing.

When Montecalvo introduced his sleek new Rick Jones-built Chevrolet Cavalier in the pre-season, he had legitimate aspirations of challenging for the championship, in spite of the fact that the teams running new-for-2000 Ford Mustang and Mercury Cougar body styles already had a leg up in their development programs. And when pre-season testing yielded potential record-setting performance, Montecalvo was rightfully optimistic about his chances in the season ahead.

After five of eleven events, however, a combination of new car blues and just plain bad luck have kept Montecalvo from wringing the hoped-for performance from his new Citgo-sponsored machine. But hope springs eternal, and in Montecalvo's case, he's definitely counting on finishing strong and setting the stage for 2002.

With that in mind, Montecalvo rolled into Mid-Michigan Motorplex for this weekend's CARQUEST Northern Nationals determined to go to the wall in an effort to stir up some excitement in the ranks. After opening the first session of qualifying with a shot of 6.691/207.62, good enough for the number 6 spot, the team went back to the pits and performed an engine swap, bolting their best bullet, named J-Lo, into the engine compartment.

Under less than perfect weather conditions, however, the strategy did not produce the desired results, and after four qualifying attempts, the original number and position on the grid held up. Come raceday, Montecalvo found himself paired off against Ontario's John Konigshofer in the first round of eliminations. At the green, the Canadian left first, but tire shake forced him to throw in the towel, allowing Montecalvo easy passage to the quarterfinals.

Here was where all the past frustrations of the season resurfaced, however. Sitting beside Montecalvo's Cavalier for the second round was the Mustang of arch-rival Tom Lee, who, despite an early exit from the previous event, was back in the hunt for the points lead. Neither driver wanted to stage, and both cars sat motionless for almost a minute before Lee finally went in. As the tree flashed, Montecalvo grabbed a starting line advantage, 0.485 to 0.509, but Lee had enough to run him down, 6.714 to 6.766 for the win.

John Montecalvo is determined to have it all come together yet this season, and he wants nothing more than to win a race, and knock a few Fords around in the process. As an experienced racer, he knows it's all a matter of time, and he also knows that there's no substitute for experience. Every time they go to a race, John and the members of his team get more in tune with what the Cavalier wants and needs. He realizes that eventually all the pieces will fall into place; he just wants it to be sooner than later.

For more information on John Montecalvo, log into drag racing's largest Internet magazine at www.competitionplus.com.

-CP-

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Series Drag
Drivers John Montecalvo