Epping: Team Castellana final report

Dark clouds of inconsistency continue to hover over Team Castellana EPPING, N.H.-Team Castellana drivers Mike Castellana and Shannon Jenkins went their separate ways yesterday afternoon, scratching their collective heads on how to break out of...

Dark clouds of inconsistency continue to hover over Team Castellana

EPPING, N.H.-Team Castellana drivers Mike Castellana and Shannon Jenkins went their separate ways yesterday afternoon, scratching their collective heads on how to break out of their emotional rollercoaster season.

Long Islander Castellana continued to battle the dark cloud that has been hanging over him during Friday and Saturday qualifying at the IHRA's sixth annual Amalie Oil North American Nationals in the New England Dodge Dealers Night of Fire.

Jenkins made the long trip back to his Alabama somewhat satisfied with his qualifying efforts but less than pleased with his first round run on Sunday. Jenkins pulled the trigger too quickly at the Christmas tree, red-lighted and gave Paul Athey, who skirted the centerline, a free ride to the win.

Qualifying began with Team Castellana experiencing both ends of the emotional spectrum on Friday.

A faulty plug wire kept Castellana's Western Beef-sponsored '57 Chevy from pulling to the line on his first attempt. Jenkins showed some of that night of fire as he piloted his 1968 Camaro to an elapsed-time run of 6.301 seconds at 223.76 mph down the New England Draway quarter-mile.

Neither driver improved during the evening passes. The supermarket chain owner from Westbury, N.Y., was on the outside looking in, while his buddy Jenkins was riding a solid seventh on the qualifying ladder.

The goal for the team on Saturday was for Jenkins to step up some, while Castellana wanted to run what he was capable of. Jenkins was off first with a 6.330-second pass, and Castellana made reasonable progress with his run of 6.454/218.80. Neither driver could improve during the fourth and final qualifying effort in the evening.

Jenkins concluded as the ninth quickest, but Castellana, who finished 19th and out of the money, hung around to cheer his teammate during the elimination rounds, hoping for a repeat of the New York race. It wasn't to be.

Now, Team Castellana hopes to shoo away those dark clouds when the IHRA tour returns to Rockingham, N.C., for the third annual CARQUEST Autumn Nationals from Sept. 21-23.

To keep abreast of the latest on Team Castellana log on to www.awesome56.com, as well as on the Internet's largest drag racing e-zine at www.competitionplus.com.

-CP-

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Series Drag
Drivers Paul Athey , Shannon Jenkins