Behind the Wheel with E3 Pro Mod Champion Mike Janis
Many grassroots drivers in the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod division deserved the 2018 drag racing title for NHRA's premier doorslammer series that features both supercharged and nitrous powered 3,000 horsepower engines in any fashionable year, make or model. Nonetheless, this year's crown went to one of the hand-me-down generation drivers that grew up in drag racing and experienced the sport's highest highs and lowest lows. Having grown up in a family racing business, his dad founded JAN-CEN Racing Engines back in 1958. A native of Elma, New York, Janis first started racing forty years ago.
Janis joined the Pro Mod division back in the 90s during the inception of the class. Since the apple never falls too far from the tree, Mike Janis Super Chargers was born to produce the reliable power he needed for his 3,000-horsepower supercharged 69' Chevy Camaro. Crew chief Mike Janis Jr. is responsible for putting both a consistent and fast car on the track where barely hundredths-of-a-second divides the Number One qualifier from an "also ran". Not an easy task with the 30-plus entries that showed up at the twelve-race E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod series presented by J&A Service with support from RPM: Real Pro Mod.
Janis Sr. is the second winningest driver in Pro Mod history and a two-time Pro Mod World Champion that has finished in the Top 10 in points for fifteen consecutive years. He also won the 2013 U.S. Nationals Pro Mod title. Janis failed only once to qualify for a Pro Mod event during this year's championship season, with sponsorship for 2018 provided by Lucas Oil, AAP - Al Anabi Performance, Line2Line Coatings, Mike Janis Super Chargers, JAN-CEN Racing Engines , Ferrea Valves, T&D Rockers, Motorsports Unlimited, Total Seal Rings, Mahle–Clevite, Hogans Racing Manifolds, Stinger Racing Fuels, Dart Engines, Callies Engines, Diamond Pistons, Trend Performance, Sunoco Race Fuels, MSD Ignition, and Elite Performance.
So where can you find the 2018 E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod champion during the offseason? Try the racetrack. Team Janis follows customers running his speed equipment at PDRA, Northeast Pro Mod, Pro Tractor Pulling and other competitive events.
Photo courtesy of RPM: Real Pro Mod