BUDDS CREEK, Md.-In a season of feast or famine, the blue plate special, nothing fancy, from the '50s Mike's Drive-In would have satisfied Mike Castellana's hunger for speed. Castellana's plate came up empty in all three qualifying tries with ...
BUDDS CREEK, Md.-In a season of feast or famine, the blue plate special, nothing fancy, from the '50s Mike's Drive-In would have satisfied Mike Castellana's hunger for speed.
Castellana's plate came up empty in all three qualifying tries with his new Western Beef Pro Mod '57 Chevrolet at the IHRA's ExpressAutoparts.com Presidents Cup Nationals this weekend.
The supermarket-chain owner from Westbury, N.Y., aborted his first run on Thursday as he coasted to an elapsed time of 10.825 seconds, bypassed the scales, and thereby disqualifying that lap. He little to beef about on missing his setup after watching a multitude of other drivers face the same plight in trying to get a handle on the Maryland International Raceway's quarter-mile.
But the struggles and frustrations continued on Friday as Castellana failed in two more attempts to get that new Tim McAmis-built car, which was debuted at Norwalk a month ago, dialed into the program. He bypassed the scales two more times, thus disqualifying those runs, ending up 32nd in the standings with no recorded times, missing Saturday's final eliminations.
"This track is tough to find the right combination,'' Castellana says. "Having only three runs to find it does not exactly make it easier. I thought we were a lot further ahead on our development of this car. I guess, we'll have to go back and find our starting point and start over."
While the first race with his new car was a washout in Norwalk, Ohio, Castellana seemed to be making progress. He qualified a solid sixth in the next race in Epping, N.H., and was looking good the following outing after his only run in Rockingham, N.C. He was sitting in the top half of the program, in eighth, before the rains forced the rest of the show to be rescheduled to Nov. 5-6.
Castellana will have two weeks to get the car running like it did in Epping and Rockingham before the rains came before competing at the Red River Raceway for the IHRA Mopar Parts World Finals in Shreveport, La.