Grand Bend: Team Castellana race notes

GRAND BEND, Ont.- Team Castellana has had better days competing in drag racing. Unfortunate for Pro Modified racer Mike Castellana, the positives have been few and far in between this year. However, don't count the Westbury, NY.-based, supermarket...

GRAND BEND, Ont.- Team Castellana has had better days competing in drag racing. Unfortunate for Pro Modified racer Mike Castellana, the positives have been few and far in between this year. However, don't count the Westbury, NY.-based, supermarket chain owner out. Neither can one look past his engine builder and teammate Shannon Jenkins.

The bright spot for Team Castellana after two days of Pro Mod qualifying this past weekend at the IHRA's second annual Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals was Jenkins, and it wasn't easy for him.

Both cars entered Saturday's heats unqualified with two chances remaining to make the field. Jenkins made good on the day's first attempt with an elapsed-time run of 6.392 seconds at 217.28 mph for the 10th quickest pass. He held on through the final round to enter yesterday's eliminations in the 14th spot.

On Friday's pass, Castellana got terribly out of shape just out of the gate as his Western Beef-sponsored 1957 Chevy made an abrupt left turn towards the centerline. The Long Islander narrowly averted disaster when Todd Howard made a sharp right to the center.

The funk continued on Saturday. Castellana was in the pair of cars behind an oildown, which necessitated a lengthy delay before he cranked up his Chevy. The run, however, was a carbon copy of the first day's ill-fated attempt as the car launched and then lunged sharply left.

The weekend was so frustrating for Castellana that he left Canada without an official clocking for any of his runs, and he finds himself in an unaccustomed position of failing to qualify for the first three IHRA tour stops of 2001.

Jenkins had no luck against Aussie Troy Critchley as he launched and was forced to lift when the car drifted out of the groove.

Castellana and Jenkins both will go back to the drawing board again and will have two weeks to correct the problems for next race when he travels to Cordova, Ill., for the 22nd Annual Amalie Oil Summer Nationals from June 14-16.

-www.awesome57.com.

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Series Drag
Drivers Shannon Jenkins , Troy Critchley