Richmond: Team Castellana post race notes

DINWIDDIE, Va.-One race after earning a spot in the quickest Pro Modified field in IHRA history, Mike Castellana experienced those qualifying problems that plagued him off-and-on last season. In the season opener three weeks ago in Rockingham,...

DINWIDDIE, Va.-One race after earning a spot in the quickest Pro Modified field in IHRA history, Mike Castellana experienced those qualifying problems that plagued him off-and-on last season.

In the season opener three weeks ago in Rockingham, N.C., Castellana turned in some outstanding runs and was ranked as high as second. He eventually qualified 14th with an elapsed time pass of 6.324 seconds at 219.90 mph to make the show for that Sunday's elimination rounds.

Dame Fortune didn't smile on the supermarket chain owner from Westbury, N.Y., this past weekend during the trials for the AC Delco Nationals presented by Chevrolet.

The tough luck for the driver of the Western Beef-sponsored '57 Chevy started from the opening heat on Friday. Castellana had problems off the starting line and had to lift on his initial run. On his second try, Castellana's 6.387-second pass down the Virginia Motorsports Park quarter-mile was better, but he fell victim to the improving bump spot.

Castellana was on the outside looking in with and the pressure was on Saturday to make yesterday's head-to-head elimination rounds. He couldn't improve on his 6.387/216.03 from the day before, concluding qualifying as the 23rd quickest, well off from what he needed.

"We are disappointed to say the least," Castellana said. "We did a lot of testing heading into the event and to get here and fail to qualify hits pretty tough. This race is done, and we'll move past it. Hopefully, we'll be on our game in our next outing."

The saving grace was that Alabama-native Shannon Jenkins carried the Team Castellana banner throughout the weekend and into the eliminations. Jenkins ended the heats in 10th, coming off his best pass of 6.302 seconds and 222.99 mph.

Castellana will go back to the drawing board during the next two weeks in hopes of solving his qualifying bugaboos to be better prepared for the Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals scheduled from June 1-3 in Grand Bend, Ont.

For the latest on Team Castellana, visit its website at www.awesome57.com. Castellana.

-IHRA

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Series Drag
Drivers Shannon Jenkins