Mike Janis Wins E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Final at Virginia Nationals
Sunday's final run in Pro Mod set the stage for a battle of Al Anabi Performance (AAP) supercharged Chevy Camaros. Staring at the backside of a Mike Janis Supercharger, Janis posted a 5.821-second pass at 246.26 mph to claim the fifth Wally of his career with a victory at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series held at Virginia Motorsports Park. Janis defeated his teammate, Mike Castellana who ran a slightly faster 246.93 mph with a 6.002 pass in his first trip to the final run in 2018. Janis had eliminated the Dodge Daytona of Pete Farber while Castellana defeated the Corvette of Rick Hord enroute to the finals. The victory moved Janis past Rickie Smith (two-time 2018 Pro Mod winner) to take over the points lead.
It was a busy week and weekend for the Pro Mod class with three-time national NHRA world champion Troy Coughlin returning to the class after a half season of retirement. Some race fans were puzzled by Coughlin's retirement last year (when he collected his third championship in the class), so most were not surprised by the rumors of his return that floated through the pits last month. Oddly enough, this week was the first time Coughlin had crawled behind the wheel of a Pro Mod car at Virginia Motorsports Park during his lengthy career. Surprising to some was the fact that he was driving a twin-turbocharged '67 Mustang for car owner Jose Gonzalez. It was Troy Sr.'s first trip down the track in a Mustang in nearly fifteen years.
Jeremy Ray had secured the preliminary number one qualifying spot for Pro Mod during his second qualifying session on Friday with a 5.804-second pass at 248.11 mph in his J4 Racing LLC '63 Corvette. With the weather less cooperative on Saturday, Ray set out the qualifying session to avoid the wear and tear on his equipment. Although the returning Troy Coughlin posted a DNQ for the Virginia event, he had no regrets about fudging on his retirement and expects to be back behind the wheel again this season on a part-time basis. As the father of NHRA racers Paige and Troy Jr., the elder Coughlin expressed strong feelings that the pits is where all of his families can be found, including the 40 or so Pro Mod drivers and teams.
The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service and supported by Real Pro Mod continues at Bristol Dragway in Bristol TN on June 15-17 for the sixth event in the twelve race series. Not satisfied to be just a sponsor of racing events, E3 has applied their DiamondFIRE technology to a complete line of racing ignition products to include racing distributors, spark plug wires, racing coils and racing O2 sensors under the company’s proven DiamondFIRE brand.
Photo courtesy of RPM: Real Pro Mod
Featuring the world’s fastest and most exotic doorslammer racecars, the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service offers something for every kind of drag racing fan. 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. Visit Real Pro Mod online to learn more.