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Tue, 2 Sep 2008, 09:26 AM

Castellana Claims First Indy Win in His NOS-powered Racecar
Courtesy of Scott "Woody" Woodruff
Photo copyright 2008 Auto Imagery, Inc.





CLERMONT, Ind. --

Castellana vs. Hernandez
Mike Castellana has only raced two of seven events on the 2008 JEGS ProMod Challenge schedule, but he's certainly made the most of his appearances. After racing to a runner-up finish at the last stop in Englishtown, N.J., Castellana went one step further Monday, winning the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals by driving around defending series champion and new points leader Josh Hernandez.

"It feels great to win the biggest race of the year for NHRA drivers," Castellana said. "This is my first Indy win, so it means that much more. What a great day. I'm going to enjoy every minute of this."

Hernandez had been flawless on the day until the final round of competition late Monday afternoon. Both he and Castellana suffered from tire shake early in their runs, but it was Castellana who recovered the quickest to drive away for the win.

"I knew we had a good car for race day, but I also knew it would be tough to make it all the way to the winner's circle," said Castellana, the first nitrous-assisted winner on tour this year. "Running Josh in the final was an obvious challenge, but my team and I just tried to run our own race. I knew if we made it smoothly down the track we could hang with him."

Castellana had a tough ladder to get through beating veteran Troy Coughlin, No. 2 qualifier Mike Knowles, former series champion Rickie Smith, and class dominator Hernandez.

"I really want to thank my new sponsor Al-Anabi Racing for the opportunity to come out here and take home the Wally," Castellana said. "This has been a real team effort and I am certainly the lucky one who gets to pilot this amazing race car."

Despite competing in just two events, Castellana has climbed to 16th position in the points and is only 43 points out of the top 10. The next stop for the series will be Sept. 18-21 at the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals near Dallas.





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