Drag Illustrated Issue 178, September / October 2022 - Page 59

Special Section
throughout the eastern U . S . for the first time in two years .
“ You work really hard and you try to do everything you can in your life to be able to go race at this level , and then it just kind of stops , so that was really tough to take that away and watch everyone still do their thing down there ,” Agostino admits . “ Not that we didn ’ t have fun . It was really nice to stay home for a year or two to race with some of our local friends and promoters that were doing their best to put something on local , so we did enjoy that too , but we really did miss crossing the border and seeing all our friends and fellow racers .”
It wasn ’ t smooth sailing right away when the borders opened , though . Controversial COVID vaccinations were required for border crossings , forcing Agostino and his tight-knit team to make a tough decision .
“ We all got together as a team and talked about it ,” Agostino says . “ I wasn ’ t asking anybody what they believe or what they don ’ t believe in , I just said , ‘ If you want to go race , this is what we ’ ve got to do . Is everybody in ?’ Everybody says , ‘ We ’ re in ,’ so we all got our shots and said , ‘ We ’ re going racing .’”
Agostino has become known for the unconventional combination he runs in his ’ 69 Camaro known as the “ Cannoli Express .” He
worked with Dave Visner of Visner Engine Development to put together a 4.600 bore space , 480-cubic-inch small-block Chevy engine package . That ’ s paired with twin turbos , Haltech engine management , M & M Transmission converter and transmission , Menscer Motorsports shocks , Ross pistons , and Maxima oil .
The duo of Visner and Agostino have made strides in the reliability of the small-block engine , but Agostino has had issues with parts breakage this year , just like any other racer pushing the mechanical limits . The difference is parts for this particular engine can be hard to come by , so Agostino has had to bow out earlier than planned at multiple races this season .
“ If you ’ re at the racetrack and you run a Hemi or a 481X and you need a head gasket or a bolt or a rod or a piston , you walk up Pro Mod Lane there and somebody ’ s probably got the stuff in the trailer ,” Agostino explains . “ With my combo , I need to have it in the trailer with me or else we ’ re not racing .”
Despite the parts shortages , Agostino has shown the small-block combo works well in Pro Street . He ’ s qualified No . 1 at four of the first five races for the class , with just the Proline Racing Brian Olson Memorial World Finals presented by Pro- Charger left on the schedule .
“ We didn ’ t show well at a few races , but other than that , very content with the team as a whole ,” says Agostino , who thanks his crew and the aforementioned companies that provide technical support and service . “ We ’ re having fun , and we ’ re showing that we can run right up front with how we qualified . We ’ re out of the points as far as the championship goes , but our goal is to go out and win that last race in Virginia .”
While he ’ s focused on closing out this season with a win , Agostino is already looking ahead at next season . Pro Street will race for a PDRA world championship again , and drivers will fight for the chance to compete at the race-your-way-in Summit Racing Equipment PDRA
ProStars race for the first time . AFCO Super Street presented by Menscer Motorsports will also get that opportunity , as well as an expanded six-race schedule and a championship points fund .
“ I know I was really impressed with Tommy Franklin , Tyler Crossnoe , and Mark Menscer when they called a meeting for all the Pro Street and Super Street racers and announced the upgrades for the class next season ,” Agostino says . “ We ’ re really excited with how the PDRA is putting effort into the class , so we ’ re going to reciprocate by running the full season next year . Also , trying to promote the class as much as we can , getting as many local 10.5 racers to come run in Pro Street .”
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