After enduring a rather rough start to his 2019 NHRA Pro Mod season — Mike Castellana bounces back…

Mike Castellana claimed his second victory in three years at Atlanta Dragway in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service by winning the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals — the 4/12 of races during the 2019 season.

Castellana ran 5.825 secs at 248.29 mph in his supercharged Al-Anabi Performance Chevrolet Camaro, to pick up the win after his opponent, Puerto Rio’s Jose Gonzalez had a red light foul start with a run of 5.849 secs at 254.28 mph.

This was the ninth career E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod victory for Castellana — who also qualified ninth.

Mike Castellana scored his 9th career win in NHRA Pro Mod class racing.

The New York based veteran driver had earned round wins over Brandon Snider, Jeremy Ray and defending world champion Mike Janis during earlier competition.

“I knew everything would come together, but I didn’t expect it this quick,” said Castellana, who failed to qualify at the first three races of the season. “(Crew chief) Frank (Manzo) and my team do a great job. We feel real confident now. We’re making progress with the car and we’ll be ready for Virginia.”

Puerto Rico’s Jose Gonzalez was runner-up.

The Atlanta event featured 25 cars entered for competition and the field, which was set after 3 qualifiers, produced a bump spot of 5.885 secs.

Points leader Steve Jackson set low ET at 5.768 secs when he qualified #1 and cross over Pro Stock racer Alex Laughlin was credited with high mph at 256.84 mph.

Steve “Fast” Jackson qualified #1 with a low ET of the event pass at 5.768 secs.

For the first time ever – Khalid alBalooshi raced a turbocharged Pro Mod car in NHRA – he qualified it #13.

Canada’s Eric Latino just missed the cut — his 5.890 secs placed 17th.

The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service continues May 17-19 with the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va.

Posted with files by NHRA Communications and Bruce Biegler
All Photos by Luke Nieuwhof