There is no shortage of bench racing that goes on during a race, whether it is the fans in the stands or the racers and crews in the pits. Oftentimes its just talk, but sometimes, as was the case with David Janes and Shannon Jenkins, something actually comes of it.
“It was the Super Bowl in 2018 when I went up to help Jackie Slone who was racing one of my cars at the time,” said David Janes Race Cars owner, David Janes. “I’ve known Shannon since 2007-08. He was helping Mike Bankston at the race and we hadn’t spent any time together in quite a while. He said he wanted to make another run at racing a car and wanted to try some new things,” Janes explained.
“I was working on a project for myself, kicking around turbo power, but didn’t think that was the way I wanted to go. We got to talking, texted after the event, and I threw the idea out there that if he supplied the drivetrain, I would provide the chassis. He was working on a Sonny Leonard combination, but wasn’t exactly sure what sanction and class he wanted to run.”
Jenkins’ project engine started out as a 910 cubic-inch engine destined for NHRA competition, but he decided not to go that route just yet and built something bigger.
“We were already working on an engine program for another car, but decided to sell that car,” Jenkins told us. “Looking at the future, it was out of our reach and we weren’t quite ready, so we decided to do some eighth-mile stuff and get our feet wet again. David and I go way back to late 2008-2009. We ran really well and won a lot of races.”
The engine project Jenkins spoke of was something he was working on with Sonny’s Racing Engines for over a year.
“A lot of the changes were made to the intake manifold and induction side of it. It’s a proprietary block and heads and it’s superior on the engine dyno to anything I’ve seen or heard,” Jenkins said.
While Jenkins remained close-lipped on many of the details, we can tell you that the engine utilizes a newly designed six stages of nitrous oxide injection, and runs on EFI Technologies engine management.
The chassis that Janes is supplying is a 2018 Dodge Avenger.
“I thought I was going to run NHRA Pro Stock in 2015 and bought the body for that,” Janes told us. “I quickly came to my senses about not running the class and extended the chassis and body for use in Pro Mod. Don Ness designed a lot of those [Dart] bodies and it was good.”
David Janes Race Cars handled the bodywork and the Dart received a custom wrap by Kryptonite Kustoms. Janes and Jenkins are also working with Speedtech Nitrous, Boninfante Friction and Adam Lambert at Performance Racing Suspensions on the car.
“It’s time to come back out and rattle some cages,” Jenkins said. “I’ve done a lot of nitrous stuff over the last 30 years. This is really getting outside the box.”
In just a week or so, Janes and Jenkins will have the Dart on Hyperaktive Performance Solutions’ hub dyno to get the tuneup spot on and pinpoint the nitrous/fuel ratio. The duo expects to be ready for the Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMCA/NMCA All-Star Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in April, and as of right now, it’s still undecided who will be the wheelman.
“I’m not sure we can make it to Bradenton, but most likely Georgia,” said Janes. “Shannon’s not sure if he’s going tor drive or if I’m going to, but I’m pushing him to.”
I haven’t decided on that yet,” said Jenkins. Driving isn’t as important to me as the ET slip is.”
Whoever is behind the wheel of the Dodge Dart is sure to have a quick car and they will need it as the competition in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod heats up for 2020.