Pro Mod Madness! Our Fuel Curve Top 10 LIst, #1 Mike Castellana & Frank Manzo
Editor’s Note. This is the final chapter of our ten-part series introducing the Top 10 Pro Mod race cars in our opinion. Series author Steven Bunker knows a thing or two about drag racing, especially Pro Mods. His grandfather Bob Bunker was one of the premier racers in supercharged, steel-bodied, quarter mile door cars which were the precursor to the class. Congratulations to all ten cars who made our list!
#1 – Mike Castellana & Frank Manzo & AAP
If we wrote this article last year, number one would be different. But after the J&A Service Pro Mod Series event in Houston earlier this season, the duo of legendary tuner Frank Manzo along with driver Mike Castellana dropped the hammer obliterating the “legal” Pro Mod world record with the roots-supercharged AAP 2017 Camaro. After qualifying at the top of the class with a 5.759-second blast (which reset the Pro Mod track record for Royal Purple Raceway), Castellana marched through first round of eliminations with an even quicker 5.722 which earned himself a bye in the second round. Manzo twisted the screws on the tune-up, made some adjustments on the clutch and let it all hang out on the freebie run in E2 which resulted in a record setting 5.685 elapsed time – an unheard of feat for a “legal” Pro Modified car.
Consider this, just four years ago the “outlaw” Pro Mod world record was set at 5.706. Jaws dropped in the drag racing world after the Houston 5.685 smack-down run. Castellana currently sits atop the 2017 J&A Service points standings after the first eight events of the year and is rolling like a freight train while picking up the win in Charlotte at the first 4-Wide Pro Mod race backed up with a “W” in Atlanta the following weekend.
Manzo is hands-down the most successful supercharged, alcohol burning drag racer in the world with a staggering 16 Lucas Oil national championships, 103 national event wins, 21 NHRA divisional championships and much, much more back in his Top Alcohol Funny Car days. Castellana on the other hand is new to the boosted world having raced strictly Nitrous-assisted door cars throughout his career, but he quickly proved he is a true wheel-smith having little to no issues swapping feet in the supercharged AAP 2017 Camaro.
The potent duo of Castellana and Manzo hit struggles during a three-week swing in June which allowed the turbocharged JEGS.com Corvette of Troy Coughlin to close the gap in the points standings. There’s still four more events on tap this season for the J&A Service series and there’s no quit with either of these multi-championship winning fella’s who are looking to add another notch on their belt’s.