Richmond final eliminations summary

Mike Janis Claims First Ironman of 2005 Season; Clay Millican, Rick Jones, and Rob Atchison Also Claim Wins at Virginia Defending Torco Pro Mod Champion wipes away field in Virginia Mike Janis is finally back in familiar territory. The...

Mike Janis Claims First Ironman of 2005 Season; Clay Millican, Rick Jones, and Rob Atchison Also Claim Wins at Virginia
Defending Torco Pro Mod Champion wipes away field in Virginia

Mike Janis is finally back in familiar territory.

The defending Torco Race Fuels Pro Modified World Champion was racing like anything but a world-beater this season.failing to qualify for the show in both San Antonio and Rockingham. He did not have a handle on his new '05 Dodge Stratus until a couple of weeks ago when things seemingly clicked during testing.

Shed no tears for Mike Janis.the Widowmaker is back.

Janis put up solid numbers all day, after qualifying in the #1 position, to advance to the final. In the first round he flirted with the IHRA e.t. record and set the track record with a 6.132/233.76 to put Charles Carpenter and his Embee Performance '55 Chevy on the trailer. In the second round he won a thriller against Ed Hoover.posting a 6.256/223.36 to Hoover's 6.295/226.47. Janis followed with another nail-biter against Eddie Ware in the semis when he carded a 6.216/231.99 to Ware's 6.278/224.10.

The tight racing Janis was forced to fight through led to an anticlimax in the final. Al Billes, who advanced through the other side of the ladder, used up his motor in the semifinals against Shannon Jenkins and was unable to answer the bell for the championship run.

"The first two races we were so close to hitting what we had here," Janis said. "But we went the wrong way and got lost for a bunch of runs. Last weekend I was really close to throwing in the towel and it has been a tough two months. It was getting to us but it all worked out. We needed this."

Though Janis was disappointed by not putting on a show for the fans in the final, he is more than happy to have earned his way back into the winner's circle.

"We earned this," Janis said. "All weekend long our guys made really good calls and my son made really good calls on the clutch. We would not have done this if not for him."

Drag racing history was made at the ACDelco Nationals as, for the first time, a pair of Chevy Cobalts squared off for a Pro Srock championship. Rick Jones secured the honor of taking home the first national event title ever when he drove past Steve Spiess in the final.

"We weren't really trying anything special, we were just trying to race the racetrack," Jones said. "We could have run faster, but we just tried to be real consistent."

Clay Millican continued his dominance in the Top Fuel class as he bagged his 40th career Ironman, an IHRA record, with his victory over Doug Foley in the final. It was the first time in three tries that Millican was able to get past Foley in the finals of a national event. Foley defeated Millican last season in Budds Creek and Norwalk.

Millican's 4.56 at 320.36 mph set the track record he established a few hours earlier during final qualifying. "I won a couple national events when I was a sportsman and I had waited my whole life to do that," Millican said. "Now in five years I have won 40 of these. I would have never thought this was possible. What that is is the gathering of a fine group of people. We are a team/family. And we all have one common goal in mind that we always work towards."

In Funny Car Rob Atchison returned to his winning ways after seeing his points lead slip away to Mark Thomas last month. Atchison defeated Terry McMillan, who took Thomas out in the first round, for the second time in an event final this season to retake the points lead and put his 11th Ironman on the mantel.

"The car has a lot of performance," Atchison said. "It goes out and runs a number consistently. That is just a reflection of the work my father has put in over the winter and how hard the crew works. It is nice to get back on top."

-ihra-

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Series Drag
Drivers Mike Janis , Mark Thomas , Clay Millican , Ed Hoover , Shannon Jenkins , Al Billes , Doug Foley , Steve Spiess