NHRA’s Pro Mod program at Bristol boiled down to a final round confrontation between two nitrous-injected Corvette cars…


“Iron Mike” Castallana won his first NHRA Pro Mod race since 2014.

It was Mike Castellana who raced to victory in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. The weekend’s Pro Mod racing at Bristol Dragway was presented by the Real Pro Mod Association and was the fifth of 10 Pro Mod events on the 2016 season.

Castellana won in his New York-based Chevy Corvette when Bob Rahaim crossed the centerline in his late model TLC Waste Disposal Services Chevy Corvette. Castellana claimed his first victory of 2016 and sixth win of his career.

“My crew did an awesome job this weekend and we got a little lucky in the finals,” said Castellana, who won his first race since the 2014 season-opener in Gainesville, FL. “That’s all it takes. It feels great. We never gave up. My team, they kept pushing. We struggled a little bit, but now we’re back and hopefully we can stay.”

Castellana qualified third and outlasted Doug Winters, Chip King and recent Englishtown, N.J., winner Troy Coughlin to make his first final round appearance of the season. With the win Castellana jumped to sixth in the points standings.

Michigan's Bob Rahaim set low ET of the event and went to the championship round.

Michigan’s Bob Rahaim set low ET of the event and went to the championship round.

Bob Rahaim, who was the No. 1 qualifier (at 5.796 secs – low ET) sprinted past Steven Whiteley, local favorite Von Smith and Michael Biehle in the earlier rounds. Rahaim’s final round placing pushed him to fourth in the points standings.

Michael Biehle’s turbocharged Mustang set top speed for the breed at 253.04 mph. 23-cars were entered in Pro Mod at Bristol and they produced a pretty swift 6.047 secs bump after 3 scheduled qualifying rounds.

Two-time 2016 winner Rickie Smith is still first in the points standings. Smith is followed by Coughlin and Steve Matusek in second and third, respectively.

The NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series continues with the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 23-26, in Norwalk, Ohio.

Posted with files by NHRA Communications and Bruce Biegler
Photos by NHRA and Bruce Biegler