Norwalk, OH - For New York State paving contractor John Montecalvo, the 2001 season in Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock, which began with such high expectations, has proven to be just a little more frustrating than the intense veteran competitor had...
Norwalk, OH - For New York State paving contractor John Montecalvo, the 2001 season in Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock, which began with such high expectations, has proven to be just a little more frustrating than the intense veteran competitor had ever imagined. With a new Rick Jones-built Chevrolet Cavalier carrying his familiar Citgo livery, Montecalvo hit the ground running in the pre-season, seemingly getting a grip on his new ride's performance and handling right out of the box, and bypassing the dreaded malady commonly known as "new car blues."
Unfortunately, the bug was there after all, making its appearance only after the regular season got under way. Over the course of the first six IHRA Summit Racing national events, a combination of circumstances, including some plain old bad racing luck, have so far conspired to keep Montecalvo from his primary purpose - to prove to the season-dominating Ford contingent that the Bow Tie brigade is for real, and plans to crash their party before the year is out.
And where better to deliver the message but at the premier IHRA event of the year, the 24th Annual Mopar Parts World Nationals, presented by Ethanol, at Norwalk Raceway Park the weekend of August 23-26. Adding fuel to the competitive fire is the fact that Monteclavo is the event's defending Pro Stock champion, a detail that serves to pump the determined racer up even more.
"We've had our share of ups and downs this year, that's for sure," Montecalvo noted. "But nobody said it was going to be easy to bring a totally new car out and run away from everybody the first year. We're gaining on it a little at a time, and learning what we need to know as the schedule unfolds. As long as we're heading in the right direction, I feel like we have the car, the crew and the sponsorship to take this program to the top."
As an experienced racer, Montecalvo knows it's all a matter of time, and he also knows that there's no substitute for experience. But if he could advance the timetable for just one race in 2001, it would be the World Nationals. "There's no hiding the fact that I'd love to defend at the season's main event," he said. "We're going into Ohio prepared to kick out all the stops in an effort to repeat, and give the Chevrolet crowd something to cheer about."