LAS VEGAS, NV – October 30, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Mike Castellana clinched his first career world championship in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports on Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and then finished off his magical weekend with the victory as part of the weekend’s 23rd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals.
It was the last of 10 events during the 2023 season and the fourth race in the category’s Road to the Championship. This weekend’s race was powered by JBS Equipment and Saturday belonged to Castellana, a longtime Pro Mod veteran.
Castellana clinched the championship in the second round on Sunday, knocking off Dmitry Samorukov with a run of 5.693-seconds at 251.30 mph in his Western Beef Camaro, making the quickest pass of the weekend in the process. Moments later, Justin Bond fell to Kevin Rivenbark, handing the world title in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports to Castellana for the first time.
“It’s totally awesome. I had no clue. I knew I was third in the points. I didn’t want to think about what we had to do,” Castellana said. “I knew we had to win the race, that was our goal. I had no clue we could win the championship. I have to thank my whole team, those guys are just amazing. This is awesome. It means a lot. Over the years, we’ve won championships in other circuits, but we’ve been chasing this one for a long time. We came so close a few years back, but we got it this year.”
Castellana, who was also the No. 1 qualifier in a dominant final weekend of the year, then finished off his day in style, taking down St. Louis winner Jordan Lazic in the semifinals to move to the finals.
In the championship round, Castellana went 5.703 at 250.74 to easily hold off Kevin Rivenbark, capping his championship year off with his first victory of the season. It was the ideal ending to Castellana’s season, as his late-season run helped clinch the world title in the talent-filled FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports.
“It’s an amazing story. I just can’t believe it,” Castellana said. “We came into this weekend and we wanted to win the race. I didn’t have any thoughts about the championship but everything came together. Everybody did an awesome job on this car, and we won the race and the championship.”
Kevin Rivenbark reached the final round for the first time by knocking off Ken Quartuccio, Bond and Sidnei Frigo. The 2024 schedule in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports will be announced later this week.
LAS VEGAS, NV — Final finish order (1-16) at the 23rd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is the final of 10 events in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports.
1. Mike Castellana; 2. Kevin Rivenbark; 3. Sidnei Frigo; 4. Jordan Lazic; 5. Khalid alBalooshi; 6. Justin Bond; 7. Dmitry Samorukov; 8. Mason Wright; 9. Stan Shelton; 10. Mike Thielen; 11. Ken Quartuccio; 12. Adriano Kayayan; 13. Nick Januik; 14. JR Gray; 15. Jason Lee; 16. Kris Thorne.
LAS VEGAS, NV — Sunday’s final results from the 23rd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is the final of 10 events in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports.
Pro Modified — Mike Castellana, Chevy Camaro, 5.703, 250.74 def. Kevin Rivenbark, Ford Mustang, 8.536, 109.77.
LAS VEGAS, NV — Final round-by-round results from the 23rd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the final of 10 events in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports.
ROUND ONE — Jordan Lazic, Chevy Camaro, 5.881, 242.93 def. Jason Lee, Camaro, 7.043, 131.64; Kevin Rivenbark, Ford Mustang, 5.812, 240.94 def. Ken Quartuccio, Camaro, 5.835, 245.40; Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.732, 250.00 def. Stan Shelton, Mustang, 5.779, 245.45; Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.745, 248.84 def. Adriano Kayayan, Camaro, 5.874, 238.64; Sidnei Frigo, Camaro, 5.881, 243.37 def. Kris Thorne, Camaro, Foul – Outer Boundary; Mason Wright, Camaro, 5.838, 243.37 def. JR Gray, Camaro, 6.181, 237.92; Justin Bond, Camaro, 5.755, 245.05 def. Nick Januik, Chevy Corvette, 6.023, 206.42; Dmitry Samorukov, Camaro, 7.654, 124.57 def. Mike Thielen, Camaro, Foul – Red Light;
QUARTERFINALS — Lazic, 5.895, 243.28 def. alBalooshi, 5.755, 248.84; Castellana, 5.693, 251.30 def. Samorukov, 6.055, 232.19; Frigo, 5.858, 243.50 def. Wright, 7.303, 104.85; Rivenbark, 5.748, 251.11 def. Bond, 5.755, 245.67;
SEMIFINALS — Rivenbark, 5.866, 247.84 def. Frigo, 5.875, 243.37; Castellana, 5.799, 248.61 def. Lazic, 9.649, 102.17;
FINAL — Castellana, 5.703, 250.74 def. Rivenbark, 8.536, 109.77.
LAS VEGAS, NV — Point standings (top 10) following the 23rd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the final of 10 events in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports.
1. Mike Castellana, 1,148; 2. Justin Bond, 1,075; 3. Kris Thorne, 1,060; 4. Jason Lee, 999; 5. Dmitry Samorukov, 990; 6. Khalid alBalooshi, 979; 7. Stan Shelton, 976; 8. Sidnei Frigo, 946; 9. Kevin Rivenbark, 940; 10. JR Gray, 905.
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Headquartered in San Dimas, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 21 national events featuring the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports, Flexjet NHRA Factory Stock Showdown™ and Top Fuel Harley Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and NHRA Street Legal™. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street® program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League® for youth ages 5 to 17. With 120 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services® (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. NHRA’s streaming service, NHRA.tv®, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates three racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park; and In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip in Southern California. For more information, log on to www.NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Source: National Hot Rod Association