Lancaster’s Mike Janis currently sits second in NHRA Pro Mod Series points, 75 behind leader Rickie Smith. That number could change for the better following this weekend’s AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park, which will also feature the eliminations for the postponed Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals.
With one round completed in Charlotte, Smith suffered a first round loss while Janis advanced.
“This is it right here for us and this is the whole season wrapped into one weekend,” said Janis. “We’re going to throw as many Hail Mary’s out there as we need to. We’ve worked hard and we’ve got a good feeling heading into the weekend. Hopefully we can apply everything we’ve learned over the past few weeks and walk away with a couple of Wallys.”
Last season, Smith clinched the championship at Gateway, while Mike Castellana won the Wally. Janis won in April in Houston for his only win of the 2014 season so far.
“We’re going to try to play it as cool as we can and just not try to make any mistakes,” said Janis. “At this point it’s all about taking it one round at a time and trying not to overthink things. We still have to go out there and qualify well for the St. Louis race but we’re going to try to take a big jump this weekend.”
The second round of eliminations for Charlotte begins on Friday following the second round of qualifying for St. Louis.
“We’re normally much more conservative,” said Janis. “We’re definitely not going to be that this time. Every time we go up to the starting line we want something big. We’re going to make as many smart changes as we need to make, give it our best and hopefully go some rounds.”
“We’ve done really well here in the past and it’s a good track for us so hopefully some of that carries over. We’re definitely looking forward to racing there and I think that really helps your mindset.”
NHRA Pro Mod Series qualifying for the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals begins Friday at 2:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. CT, continuing with the final qualifying session on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. CT. Round one of eliminations begins Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.
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