Mike Castellana Comes Through with First Career Win at Indy during E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Action
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – September 3, 2019 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Pro Mod veteran Mike Castellana scored his first career victory at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, slipping past Rickie Smith on a holeshot in the final round of E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service action on Monday at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
The series was presented by Hot Wheels in Indy and marked the ninth of 12 races in 2019. For Castellana, it was his first Indy triumph after finishing as the runner-up two previous times. He went 5.758-seconds at 248.43 mph in the finals in his blown Al-Anabi Performance Camaro, beating Smith’s 5.747 at 250.83 by a mere 17 inches thanks to a better reaction time. It is Castellana’s second win in 2019 and 10th in his E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Series career.
“I just go up there and do my own thing and to try to win,” Castellana said. “It was pretty close at the finish line. I knew it was tight. It feels great to win this, especially for my team. They work their butts off all weekend, so it’s great.”
Castellana, who qualified second with a 5.751 at 248.93, picked up round wins against Sidnei Frigo, Doug Winters and AAP teammate Brandon Snider to reach the final round. Smith, a three-time world champ and the No. 1 qualifier this weekend, advanced to his 23rd career final round thanks to round wins against Eric Latino, Khalid AlBalooshi and defending world champ Mike Janis.
The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service continues at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Sept. 27-29 in St. Louis. It is the 10th of 12 races during the 2019 season.
BROWNSBURG, IN — Final finish order (1-16) at the 65th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The race is the ninth of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
1. Mike Castellana; 2. Rickie Smith; 3. Mike Janis; 4. Brandon Snider; 5. Khalid alBalooshi; 6. Doug Winters; 7. Todd Tutterow; 8. Dwanye Wolfe; 9. Steve Jackson; 10. Eric Latino; 11. Sidnei Frigo; 12. Scott Oksas; 13. Steve Matusek; 14. Jason Scruggs; 15. Rick Hord; 16. Bob Rahaim.
BROWNSBURG, IN — Monday’s final results from the 65th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The race is the ninth of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
Pro Modified — Mike Castellana, Chevy Camaro, 5.758, 248.43 def. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.747, 250.83.
BROWNSBURG, IN — Final round-by-round results from the 65th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, the ninth of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
ROUND ONE — Khalid alBalooshi, Chevy Camaro, 5.764, 251.81 def. Jason Scruggs, Camaro, 5.966, 244.16; Doug Winters, Chevy Chevelle, 5.793, 248.80 def. Bob Rahaim, Camaro, 6.180, 182.26; Todd Tutterow, Camaro, 5.751, 249.53 def. Steve Jackson, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Dwanye Wolfe, Camaro, 5.796, 246.44 def. Rick Hord, Camaro, 6.061, 197.65; Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.887, 208.65 def. Steve Matusek, Ford Mustang, 5.938, 232.55; Brandon Snider, Chevy Corvette, 5.754, 247.93 def. Scott Oksas, Mustang, 5.812, 242.32; Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.765, 248.89 def. Sidnei Frigo, Camaro, 5.790, 253.66; Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.740, 251.02 def. Eric Latino, Camaro, 5.779, 246.89;
QUARTERFINALS — Janis, 5.909, 221.09 def. Wolfe, Foul – Centerline; Castellana, 5.801, 248.39 def. Winters, 5.873, 227.23; Snider, 5.788, 247.43 def. Tutterow, 6.181, 169.40; Smith, 5.774, 251.58 def. alBalooshi, 5.785, 255.19;
SEMIFINALS — Castellana, 9.155, 98.30 def. Snider, Broke; Smith, 5.769, 251.58 def. Janis, 5.865, 246.17;
FINAL — Castellana, 5.758, 248.43 def. Smith, 5.747, 250.83.
BROWNSBURG, IN — Point standings (top 10) following the 65th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, the ninth of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
1. Steve Jackson, 689; 2. Mike Janis, 567; 3. Todd Tutterow, 556; 4. Jose Gonzalez, 527; 5. Sidnei Frigo, 485; 6. Khalid alBalooshi, 425; 7. Mike Castellana, 410; 8. Rickie Smith, 407; 9. Brandon Snider, 366; 10. Chad Green, 362.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, and E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association