JULIAN, N.C. (April 17) – A week after taking the trophy at Kil-Kare Raceway in his home state of Ohio, Troy Coughlin Jr. went down south and added to his burgeoning drag racing resume with a semifinal finish in the Top ET Classic at Piedmont Dragway.
Racing in Saturday’s $20,000-to-win main event, Coughlin drove his JEGS.com dragster deep into eliminations before losing to former national champion Chip Johnson by a narrow margin. Coughlin also posted a Round 2 finish Friday night and a third-round finish in Sunday’s finale.
“We raced hard and came close but couldn’t quite close out a win this time,” Coughlin said. “I had a .019-second reaction time and ran right on my dial-in in the semis but it still wasn’t enough. Chip was just a little bit better. I was fortunate enough to get a win last weekend but we just couldn’t keep that momentum going.
“Even though I didn’t get the win, this was a great event. I congratulate [track promoter] Gilmer Hinshaw. He was 18 cars short of the guarantee and still paid the full $20,000 to the winner. That’s a classy move and something all of us racers really appreciate.”
Taking advantage of a rule that allows a racer to enter the same car twice, Coughlin was able to make more than 25 runs in his dragster during the three-day race, gaining valuable seat time against some of the best high stakes E.T. bracket racers in the nation.
“I made a lot of runs and we gathered a lot of data, which is always a good thing,” Coughlin said. “I tried to get some momentum going each day but the only time it really worked was on Saturday. I drove well but at times, just not enough. You need to have some luck to go with it and this time we just didn’t have it.”
JEGS Mail Order teammate Kenny Underwood helped carry the day with a victory in Saturday’s Gambler’s Race. Underwood, a former IHRA world champion and one of the nation’s premiere bracket racers, also posted a runner-up finish in the same event on Friday evening.
Determined to keep the Team JEGS winning streak alive, Coughlin and Underwood will now head to South Georgia Motorsports Park for the Super Spring Buck Blast, another multi-day event that features several opportunities for big paydays.
“I really love these big bracket races and I’m going to keep on trying until I win one of them,” Coughlin said. “They’re very hard to win but that’s what makes them so rewarding. You can’t get discouraged. You just have to keep working at it and success will come your way.”
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