Medical Concerns Force Pro Mod Vet Mike Janis Into Retirement

Mike Janis has spent nearly 50 years in the drag racing world and has had a major impact on the sport. From winning three Pro Mod titles with the IHRA and NHRA, to his engine building and development successes, Janis has had a knack for finding the winner’s circle at all levels. Unfortunately, however, his time in the driver’s seat has come to an unintended and difficult end due to health issues.

Janis had a very productive offseason helping customers through his engine and supercharger business while getting his house in order from another run at the NHRA Pro Mod world championship. At the same time, Janis went to the doctor for an angiogram procedure where a large blockage was discovered. Two stints needed to be placed in Janis’ artery to remedy the issue and prevent a potentially deadly “widow maker” heart attack.

“Almost 50 years behind the wheel has been an incredible ride but this is what is best for his health and everyone who surrounds him,” the team said in a prepared statement. “It has been a very sad day here. So where does Mike Janis Racing go from here? We knew the day would happen sooner or later just not in this way. I will tell you where we go. We go to bring MJR another world championship.”

This procedure and the discovery of the blockage will force Janis, at the direction of his doctors, to retire from driving immediately, however, that won’t stop Mike and his team from continuing their direct involvement in the sport. According to Mike Janis, Jr., the team is currently looking for a new driver to fill his father’s seat and partner with the team for the 2021 season. The team plans on remaining intact with the same personnel and equipment.

Right now, the team plans on making the trip to the World Doorslammer Nationals in March, followed by the NHRA Pro Mod season opener at Gainesville. The team is trying to find the right individual to bring onboard that will help fight for a second NHRA Pro Mod title this season.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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