Tough Starts Do Not Deter IHRA Racers, Three Competitors Hope To Change Fortunes At IHRA Amalie Oil Summer Nationals CORDOVA, ILL.---- Three racers share in their own tales of hardship going into the IHRA Amalie Oil Summer Nationals. However,...
Tough Starts Do Not Deter IHRA Racers, Three Competitors Hope To Change Fortunes At IHRA Amalie Oil Summer Nationals
CORDOVA, ILL.---- Three racers share in their own tales of hardship going into the IHRA Amalie Oil Summer Nationals. However, they never speak of throwing in the towel. Dale Brinsfield, Mike Castellana and Jamie Emery are three prime examples of those that have underwent heaping amounts of adversity, which have only led to increased determination. The aforementioned have yet to claim a top ten spot in the IHRA/Snap-On Tools Championship Drag Racing points chase, but hope to change that in Cordova, Ill., for this weekend's IHRA Amalie Oil Summer Nationals.
Brinsfield's rocky road has probably been the most publicized of the trio. The Greensboro, NC.,-based, import mechanic and Pro Modified racer got off on the proverbial wrong foot by crashing his Dylan Mortgage-sponsored, 1963 Corvette in Darlington, SC during pre-season testing. He then burned the candle at both ends just to make the first event of the season with a new car, only to suffer a tremendous nitrous explosion during his final qualifying attempt. A testimony to his dedication was in winning the Best Appearing Pro Car award and qualifying at the next two events.
Castellana has steadily made strides to ascend to the forefront of the Pro Modified program. The Westbury, NY.,-based supermarket chain owner chose to debut a new 1957 Chevy in pre-season testing, but had not worked out all of the bugs of the new ride. As a result, he fell short in making the program at the first two events of the season. He did have the right stuff at the Holley Spring Nationals in Rockingham, NC., as he qualified for the first time in IHRA competition during the 1999 season.
Emery has not fared as well in qualifying at IHRA events during 1999. The Colton's Point, Md.,-based, Top Fuel Harley racer has yet to be a part of final eliminations. His closest instance of gaining a berth on race day was at the season-opening, Prolong Winter Nationals, where he finished as first alternate amidst controversy that could have made him a part of final eliminations. Then, at the Amalie Oil Nationals in Bradenton, Fl., he suffered breakage that forced him to withdraw from competition. The third race saw him get bumped out during the final qualifying session. This has been a tough pill for Emery to swallow considering that he opened last season with a runner-up at the Prolong Winter Nationals.
Brinsfield, Castellana and Emery will all three take part in competition at the IHRA Amalie Oil Nationals to be hosted by Cordova Raceway Park in Cordova, Ill. Qualifying will begin on tommorrow and continue into Saturday. Final eliminations are slated for Sunday. Complete results of this event can be reached by visiting the IHRA website at www.ihra.com.