DELAWARE, Ohio (July 29) — It will have been exactly 100 days since Pro Modified racer Troy Coughlin has made a quarter-mile pass when he slips behind the wheel of his brand-new, 2,500-horsepower Camaro Aug. 6 for a scheduled test session at Darlington Raceway. A 25-year drag racing veteran, Coughlin has never been out of a car for this long, so he’s understandably excited and just a tad anxious.

“This is the longest I’ve ever gone without racing something,” Coughlin said. “I’ve always filled the gaps with bracket races or some sort of sportsman activity. It’s just the way I’m wired, I guess; I love the competition.”

Coughlin’s lengthy absence from the racing scene was brought on by an unfortunate accident April 27 at the Southern NHRA Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Coughlin’s GTO got out-of-shape early in his first-round race against Tony Pontieri and he ended up making hard contact with the right-side retaining wall before drifting over and hitting the left side wall as well. Fortunately, Coughlin wasn’t hurt, but his car was totaled.

Anxious to get back on track, Coughlin was able to buy a brand-new ’68 Camaro built by Tommy Mauney of TM Race Cars. The car originally was intended for Outlaw racer Danny Blakenship, but an increased work schedule forced Blakenship to trim back his racing endeavors and he was willing to sell his new ride to Coughlin.

“It’s a beautiful racecar,” Coughlin said. “It was literally straight out of Tommy’s shop when we got it so we had a lot of work to do to get it race-ready. The initial feeling was to hustle it through and get back in time for Englishtown (June 19-22), but the more we thought about it the more we decided to take our time and wait for Indy.

“This break has given us the time to freshen all of our motors and really make this Camaro perfect from front to back. It’s going to be fun to debut it at the biggest race of the year and we’re expecting it to be very competitive from the start. All of Tommy’s cars that came off same mold as this one are great pieces and ours should be too.”

To make sure his Darlington test is a success, Coughlin will bring along his father, Jeg Coughlin Sr., and Mauney himself. “That way we’ll be covered,” he said. The group plans to make a minimum of five full passes but will stay as long as necessary to get any potential bugs worked out before heading to the U.S. Nationals in Indy.

“I’ve done everything I can do to prepare myself for my return,” Coughlin said. “I’ve been exercising and stretching to be the best driver I can be. We’ve built this car will all of the latest safety features and I know I have a great team around me.

“Having taken so much time off, we know we probably won’t challenge for the JEGS ProMod Challenge championship this year but there are four races left on the schedule and we plan on contending for the trophy at all four of them.”


Information regarding JEGS ProMod Challenge can be found at

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