Grand Bend, ON - "I want to beat Tommy Lee so bad I can't stand it!" were the first words out of Chevrolet Cavalier driver John Montecalvo's mouth when he clambered out of his car late Sunday afternoon. The place was Ontario's Grand Bend...
Grand Bend, ON - "I want to beat Tommy Lee so bad I can't stand it!" were the first words out of Chevrolet Cavalier driver John Montecalvo's mouth when he clambered out of his car late Sunday afternoon. The place was Ontario's Grand Bend Motorplex, and the Center Moriches, NY driver had just been pushed back from the starting line with mechanical problems as he was about to face his long-time rival, Ford Mustang wrangler Tom Lee, in the second round of eliminations.
Montecalvo pushed his Citgo-sponsored Chevy to a string of consistent 6.60 passes to grab the number four position on the qualifying grid at the rain-delayed 2nd Annual Mopar Performance Parts Canadian nationals presented by Castrol, only to have an uncharacteristic miss-step during between rounds maintenance end his quest for victory a few rounds short.
Montecalvo explained "When we adjust the valves, our standard procedure calls for us to take the belt off the dry sump pump. For whatever reason, we neglected to do it before we went out for round two. That caused the overflow tank to fill up, and when I started backing up from my burnout, the oil started spilling over.
"Fortunately, we have a very safety-conscious starter over here in IHRA," said Montecalvo, referring to Clyde "Spook" Peak, "and he spotted the trouble right away and shut me down. If I had launched the car and gotten into the oil, it could have been a disaster."
All which, while good for the safety off all concerned, denied Montecalvo a shot at hot-running Lee, who along with three-time Pro Stock winner Gene Wilson, are running away from the rest of the Pro Stock pack with their Fords so far this year. "Tommy has left the door open for me a few times this year, but I haven't been able to capitalize," said a frustrated Montecalvo. "I'm so anxious to do well this year that it's incredible. I have never had the drive to succeed that I have right now, and we're going to do everything in our power to turn things around."