Norwalk: Mike Castellana race notes

NORWALK, Ohio-Trying to take a step forward Mike Castellana wound up taking a giant stride backward. At least that was the case during the IHRA Mopar Parts World Nationals this past weekend. In an effort to change his misfortunes during the...

NORWALK, Ohio-Trying to take a step forward Mike Castellana wound up taking a giant stride backward. At least that was the case during the IHRA Mopar Parts World Nationals this past weekend.

In an effort to change his misfortunes during the Pro Mod elimination rounds at previous events, the supermarket chain owner from Westbury, N.Y., debuted a Tim McAmis-built 1957 Western Beef Chevrolet.

He ended up singing the new car blues. Not only did he not advance out of the first round of eliminations, Castellana, for the first time in four races, failed to qualify for Saturday's side-by-side showdowns.

On Friday's final qualifying session, Castellana's new Chevy seemed to have plenty of horsepower, quite possibly too much. He launched and about 20 feet into the run, he encountered fierce tire shake and coasted through the timing traps. The third run ended his weekend of frustrations that left him well out of contention at 31st. The best he could do on Norwalk Raceway Park's quarter-mile was 20.195 seconds.

After failing to make the eliminations for the IHRA tour stop in Grand Bend, Castellana had exorcised the bad qualifying vibes in Cordova, Leicester and last weekend in Stanton. Cordova seemed to provide the race where Castellana had a handle on the Pro Mod qualifying field when he notched a career-best third with an elapsed time run of 6.36 seconds at 222.34 mph.

Castellana will have two weeks to figure out what went wrong with his new car before heading to the Parts Pro North American Nationals Sept. 8-10 at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H.

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Series Drag
Drivers Tim McAmis