Bristol: Team Castellana race report

BRISTOL, Tenn.-On the long ride back to New York's Long Island, Mike Castellana will have plenty of time to mull over what went wrong with another weekend devoted to drag racing. The trip to the NHRA's inaugural Mac Tools Thunder Valley...

BRISTOL, Tenn.-On the long ride back to New York's Long Island, Mike Castellana will have plenty of time to mull over what went wrong with another weekend devoted to drag racing.

The trip to the NHRA's inaugural Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals this weekend started with such promise for the driver of the Western Beef-sponsored pro modified '57 Chevy.

Castellana covered the Bristol Dragway quarter-mile in an elapsed time of 6.439 seconds at 209.75 mph for his first qualifying pass on Friday. The run was the fifth quickest of the session.

Despite the numbers, Castellana had little to cheer about because the first signs that this could be another troubling weekend appeared. He burned a piston near the end of that run and was forced to change engines for his second-round attempt.

The new motor didn't help, and the supermarket chain owner from Westbury would labor in vain during his final three passes to qualify among the top eight for today's head-to-head eliminations.

Of those three passes, the quickest came during his fourth and final try yesterday. Castellana couldn't shake his problems, and the 8.847 seconds and 101.73 mph pass left him in 13th position, way short of what he needed to advance.

The frustrations became compounded since Castellana experienced similar problems during the last IHRA tour stop in Dinwiddie, Va., where he ended up only 23rd.

The weekend became forgettable for Team Castellana as its other driver, Shannon Jenkins, headed home to Alabama after having to failed to qualify, too.

Castellana how has a month off to work the bugs out before heading North of the Border for the IHRA's second annual Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals in Grand Bend, Ont., from June 1-3.

-IHRA

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shannon Jenkins