MIKE JANIS AIMS TO KEEP HOT STREAK GOING AS NHRA PRO MOD SERIES RETURNS TO ZMAX DRAGWAY
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After winning the NHRA’s most prestigious drag race at Indianapolis, Pro Mod racer Mike Janis is ready to roll into the Queen City for the sixth annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by NAPA Auto Parts, Sept. 13-15 at zMAX Dragway. And with only three races remaining in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season, Janis needs to be at the top of his game to succeed at the stellar track known as Bruton Smith's "Bellagio of Drag Strips."
Janis joined an elite group of winners at the tradition-rich Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, when he drove his Valvoline Chevy Camaro past points leader Rickie Smith in the final round, denying Smith his third straight victory in the series.
Now, with confidence peaking, Janis is eager to scratch another first-time career win off his list this weekend at zMAX Dragway. The race is the eighth of 10 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series and the series’ second visit to zMAX Dragway this season.
“It was amazing,” said Janis of his first Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victory. “You race your whole life to win Indy. It still hasn't sunk in yet and to run as well as we have this year is just awesome.”
Janis is well aware that competitive fires will be burning high as the top 10 Pro Mod teams pull up to zMAX Dragway's gates. Points leader and North Carolina native Smith, who also has two season wins under his belt in his IDG Chevy Camaro, leads second place driver and defending Pro Mod world champion Troy Coughlin by 98 points. Smith holds a 112-point lead over Janis, who sits in third place in the standings. Kenny Lang holds the fourth spot while another past world champ, Von Smith, sits in fifth place.
“There are three races left and we are loaded for bear,” said the New York native. “The game plan is just to run consistent, qualify and keep going rounds. We are about four and a half rounds out of first and will be as ready as we can be.”
With two wins this season, Janis has yet to add a career win at Charlotte to his racing resume and admits that the fans and track at the sprawling zMAX Dragway facility is top notch.
“Charlotte is awesome,” Janis said. “So many people from back home here in Buffalo live down there and the support is great. Winning at Charlotte would be just as awesome. We love it down there. This is the best and safest place in the world to drag race. The NHRA Safety Safari is incredible and deserves more credit than they get. (NHRA Chief Starter) Mark Lyle does an amazing job running the show up there.”
Other top drivers expected to compete in the event will be former Charlotte winner Mike Castellana, Danny Rowe, Clint Satterfield, Chip King and Pete Farber.
Following the Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals, the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series will move on to the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis, Sept. 27-29, and conclude its season in Las Vegas at the NHRA Toyota Nationals, Oct. 24-27.
Featuring the world’s fastest and most unique doorslammer cars with an extremely diverse collection of vehicles, including ’63 Corvettes, ’68 Camaros, ’67 Mustangs and ’68 Firebirds as well as late-model cars, the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast.
NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series sessions are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 13 at 3:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. and the first round of eliminations will follow at 4:15 p.m. Eliminations continue on Sunday, Sept. 15.
To purchase tickets, call zMAX Dragway at 800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.zmaxdragway.com. For more information about NHRA, please visit www.NHRA.com.
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NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES FACT SHEET
CARLYLE TOOLS NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS PRESENTED BY NAPA AUTO PARTS
WHAT: Sixth annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by NAPA Auto Parts, the eighth of 10 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. Other racing series showcased during this event include the NHRA Mello Yello Series and the NHRA Lucas Oil Series.
WHERE: zMAX Dragway, Charlotte, N. C. The track is located at 6750 Bruton Smith Blvd., Concord, NC 28027
COURSE: Championship drag strip; Track elevation is 630 feet above sea level; Track direction is west to east.
WHEN: Friday through Sunday, Sept. 13-15.
FRIDAY, Sept. 13
NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES qualifying at 3:30 and 6:15 p.m.
SATURDAY, Sept. 14
NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES qualifying at 2 p.m.; first round of eliminations at 4:15 p.m.
SUNDAY, Sept. 15 - Pre-race ceremonies, 11 a.m.
NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES eliminations continue at approximately 2:30 p.m.
2012 WINNER: Leah Pruett
TRACK RECORDS: 5.815 sec. by Melanie Troxel, Sept. ’11; 256.55 mph by Troxel, Sept. ’11.
NATIONAL RECORDS: 5.772 sec. by Melanie Troxel, June. ’11, Englishtown; 258.71 mph by Troxel, June ’11, Englishtown.
TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 455- FANS (3267). Tickets also available online at www.zmaxdragway.com.
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NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES POINT STANDINGS
(Following the seventh of 10 races; victories in parentheses)
1. Rickie Smith, King, N.C., IDG Chevy Camaro (2) 572
2. Troy Coughlin, Delaware, Ohio, Jegs.com Chevy Corvette (1) 474
3. Mike Janis, Lancaster, N.Y., Valvoline Chevy Camaro (2) 460
4. Kenny Lang, Grande Pointe, Manit., Summit Racing Chevy Corvette 422
5. Von Smith, Oak Ridge, Tenn., Dr. Moon / Al-Anabi Chevy Camaro (1) 409
6. Mike Castellana, Muttontown, N.Y., Al-Anabi Chevy Camaro 390
7. Danny Rowe, Laguna Hills, Calif., Agave Underground Tequila Chevy Camaro 377
8. Clint Satterfield, Albuquerque, BAC Enterprises Pontiac Firebird (1) 321
9. Chip King, Semora, N.C., Strutmasters.com Dodge Daytona 318
10. Pete Farber, Baldwinville, Mass., CRC Brakeleen Dodge Daytona 314