BRISTOL, TN – June 15, 2018 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Mike Janis didn’t realize he had not won an E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service race since his impressive 2015 season. But the veteran was more than ready to end that streak, and now he is ready to continue that momentum as the 2018 season hits the halfway point at this weekend’s Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Janis won a week ago in Virginia – at the site of his first career Pro Mod win – taking over the points lead in the process. Seven events remain in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service season, but Janis likes where things are headed in his Al-Anabi Performance/Mike Janis Superchargers Chevrolet Camaro.
“I know we have a good team and good power, but we had been struggling against these monster teams,” said Janis, who finished second in points in 2015. “To do what we’re doing and to get that win, it’s very gratifying. We’re not making mistakes, and we’ve been running well and going rounds. We put it all together (in Virginia) and hopefully we can keep it up.”
The race, which is presented by Elite Motorsports, is the sixth of 12 events during the 2018 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service season and will be shown on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) and Fox Sports 2 (FS2). Reigning world champion Troy Coughlin, who returned to action last weekend in Richmond, is the defending winner in Thunder Valley.
But Janis is performing at an impressive level through the first five races of the season, advancing to the final round at the opener in Gainesville and racing to the semifinals in Topeka before the win last weekend. With a class as loaded as the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, it’s just as impressive that Janis hasn’t lost in the first round this season. With the likelihood of hot track conditions this weekend in Bristol, Janis has confidence he can keep his strong season going.
“We’ve always run really well in the heat, so hopefully we can continue to have that advantage,” said Janis, who has five career NHRA Pro Mod wins. “It makes it more of a tuner’s deal when the track gets tricky, so we’re looking forward to it. These three races in a row, it can really determine a lot in the championship, so hopefully we can go some more rounds in Bristol and put us in a good spot. After the win, we went right back to work to come up with a gameplan for Bristol.”
Janis and his team believe they have one, but will again have to face off with a loaded field of more than 30 standout drivers, including three-time world champion Rickie Smith, 2018 winners Jim Whiteley and Jose Gonzalez, and other top talents like Chad Green, Todd Tutterow, Bob Rahaim, former world champion Khalid AlBalooshi and Stevie “Fast” Jackson. That’s just fine with Janis, who has enjoying being a key member of the thriving class.
“This class just puts on an amazing show,” Janis said. “It’s one of the most popular classes in racing and there’s so many fans that are supporting us. You’re having 30-plus entries at nearly every race, and it’s a really big deal for us to be a part of it.”
Featuring the world’s fastest and most unique doorslammer race cars, the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast. The class is highlighted by historic muscle cars, like ’67 Mustangs, ’68 Firebirds and ’69 Camaros, as well as a variety of late model American muscle cars. With more than 3,000 horsepower, the suspended door pro mod cars travel the quarter-mile in less than six seconds at speeds exceeding 250 mph.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 3:45 and 6:45 p.m. on Friday, June 15 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 16, at 12:15 and 2:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, June 17.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call Bristol Dragway at (423) 989-6900. Tickets also are available online at www.bristoldragway.com. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, and E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association