Mike Castellana Rockingham Qualifying Report

Castellana Shakes Qualifying Jinx, Makes Field At IHRA Holley Spring Nationals ROCKINGHAM, NC-- To qualify for a race is to win half of the battle, and at the IHRA Holley Spring Nationals in Rockingham, N.C., Pro Modified racer Mike Castellana...

Castellana Shakes Qualifying Jinx, Makes Field At IHRA Holley Spring Nationals

ROCKINGHAM, NC-- To qualify for a race is to win half of the battle, and at the IHRA Holley Spring Nationals in Rockingham, N.C., Pro Modified racer Mike Castellana made it to the show. The Westbury, N.Y.,-based, Supermarket chain owner may have dropped a first round encounter, but was pleased to be a part of final eliminations. The Rockingham-based event was his first qualifying effort of the 1999 season.

Castellana made his intentions known from the first session as he posted a 6.615/208.67, which was excellent for a baseline run. However, the run was only good for first alternate status. He rebounded in a big way during the second session and improved greatly in his Western Beef-backed, 1957 Chevy to a 6.537/212.66 to end up in the eleventh spot.

The Western Beef-sponsored 1957 Chevy of Castellana was in the field, but a 6.559/213.01 during the third session didn’t improve his status. He entered the final round in the 12th position and failed to improve during the final session. Castellana maintained status in the program and qualified his shoebox in its first-ever IHRA Pro Modified program. He settled into the 15th spot and was paired opposite Steve Vick in the first round.

Castellana needed a quicker start to even a performance disadvantage against Vick. The holeshot never came as Vick outreacted him and never looked back. The winning lap for Vick was a 6.468/217.70 while Castellana lost with a respectable 6.541/213.42.

Mike Castellana's Western Beef /Awesome Motorsports team will continue their championship conquest at the Amalie Oil Summer Nationals in Cordova, Ill., June 18-20. Castellana, along with each Pro Modified contestant will be afforded four qualifying runs during the course of the event and the quickest sixteen entries will compete in final eliminations on Sunday. The event will be televised on ESPN2 with the dates TBA in an upcoming issue of the IHRA's Drag Review magazine. He is scheduled to return to Darlington, S.C., on May 8, where he is listed as the first alternate for the rescheduled Prolong Winter Nationals.

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