Pro Modified category racing at NHRA’s most recent national event produced a marquee final round clash….

It was two wily veteran class racers – Mike Janis and Mike Castellana — who when toe-to-toe for the top honours during the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series (presented by J&A Service) portion of the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Last weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by the Real Pro Mod Association, was the fifth of 12 events this season.

Janis, who is from Western New York used a 5.821-second pass at 246.26 mph in his AAP/Mike Janis Superchargers ‘69 Camaro to take down Mike Castellana (from the New York city area) in the final round. Castellana carded a losing 6.002 secs at 246.93 mph racing is 2017 model Camaro.


Mike Janis (top) defeated Mike Castellana for the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod title at Virginia Motorsports Park.

“Coming into this race it had been so long since we were in the winner’s circle, but we had a solid car all weekend and we put it all together today,” Janis said. “We feel really good going into Bristol as we start off this three-in-a-row stretch.”

Janis, who took the measure of Rick Hord, Chad Green and Danny Rowe during earlier competition, moved past Rickie Smith to take over the Pro Mod points lead with his victory. Janis had qualified #3 for the event with a 5.812 secs ET.

The weekend’s Pro Mod class was yet another feisty affair with 27 cars making qualifying attempts and collectively producing a swift 5.872 secs bump spot.

Alabama’s Jeremy Ray qualified #1 with his Corvette.

The race had been paced by PDRA 1/8th mile specialist Jeremy Ray who ran his supercharged ’67 Corvette to the pole at 5.804 secs — however it was again the Q80-sponsored turbocharged Camaro raced by Jose Gonzalez who set the event’s performance standard. While enroute to a “final four” placing – Gonzalez ran both low ET (5.770 secs) and top speed (254.47 mph).

Once again it was Jose Gonzalez who set both low ET and top speed event standards!

Defending NHRA Pro Mod World Champ debuted his new turbocharged Mustang at VMP but missed the swift bump with a best run of 5.884 secs.

NHRA’s E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service continues action the next two weekends consecutively with events at Bristol TN and Norwalk Ohio scheduled.

Posted by Bruce Biegler
Photos by Dave DeAngelis