NORWALK, OH-- Mike Castellana began the weekend with the heart of a lion. The veteran supermarket chain owner headed into the weekend with the hope of winning the race. His team feels they have been moving towards a combination with the car...
NORWALK, OH-- Mike Castellana began the weekend with the heart of a lion. The veteran supermarket chain owner headed into the weekend with the hope of winning the race. His team feels they have been moving towards a combination with the car that will provide them the ability to not only qualify the car successfully in the field, also go some rounds. The veteran driver has been concentrating on making the car as consistent in both good and bad track conditions, trying to move up in the season long points chase. Today, all the hard work paid off as he reached the quarter-finals of the IHRA Mopar Parts World Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.
Castellana has a penchant for starting the weekend slowly in qualifying gaining momentum as the event progresses. Such was the case as he broke just off the starting line and was forced to return to the pits to repair his car before the second round of qualifying. He returned in the afternoon session and was one of many being given two runs on Friday due to the rain, which washed out most of qualifying on Thursday. He made up for his morning shortcomings by hammering out a very stout 6.493/ 216.06 to move into the fifteenth position in the field. He could not improve on his time in the first Saturday session, carding an inconclusive 6.58/213. Castellana entered the final session with the confidence that the team had solved their problems. He encountered some adversity in that final session, while waiting in line to make his final attempt Castellana was bumped from the program. He redeemed himself on that final run by running a 6.460/ 216.20, good enough for the sixteenth position in the field of eliminations. He will face number one qualifier Fred Hahn in the first round.
Castellana began Sunday's eliminations with the opportunity to pull off a an upset. He felt his chances before eliminations were as good as anybody to win. Castellana's luck continued as he defeated the low qualifier Fred Hahn whose mount encountered severe tire shake as he let the clutch out, striking the tires immediately. The beautiful 57' Chevy into the second round with a 6.437/ 215.51.
Castellana's faced another shoebox in the second round, one driven by Iowa car dealer Carl Moyer. The two cars left together and unfortunately for Castellana his mount failed him during the run, giving the win to Moyer.
Mike Castellana's Western Beef' / Awesome Motorsports team will continue their championship quest at the IHRA Parts Pro North American Nationals in Epping, NH, September 10-12. Each Pro modified contestant will be afforded four qualifying attempts during the course of the event, and the quickest sixteen will compete in final eliminations on Sunday. The event will be televised on ESPN2 with the dates to be published in an upcoming issue of IHRA's Drag Review magazine.