BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 21) – For Troy Coughlin Jr., racing against the toughest drivers in the nation at this weekend’s K&N Spring Fling 20’s at Bristol Dragway was the perfect way to continue his education on the finer points of E.T. bracket racing.
Although he wasn’t able to get his hands on one of the $20,000 top prizes, the third-generation racer did manage a respectable Round 4 finish in Sunday’s final event. More importantly, he believes the experience and knowledge he gained was priceless.
“I learned so much this weekend,” Coughlin said. “I try to learn something new every time I’m at the track but this weekend was different. Tony Collier [veteran JEGS crew member] wasn’t here with me and I decided to take more responsibility for setting my dial-in. Bristol Dragway is a fantastic track but it’s very tricky because it’s surrounded by mountains and the wind swirls and the temperature can change very quickly. You really have to stay on your toes. I made some mistakes this weekend but I also learned a lot that will help me at future events. No matter what, I plan to take a more active role in dialing-in this car from now on.”
During the four-day marathon, Coughlin was able to rely on crew members Rick Rossiter and Nick Gaylord to keep his JEGS.com dragster running smoothly. He was also gained some valuable insight following a brief phone call to his uncle, Jeg Coughlin Jr., who was competing in the Pro Stock and Stock classes at the NHRA Dollar General Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan.
“I spent 15 minutes on the phone with Uncle Jeg and he set me straight on a few things,” Coughlin said. “Jeg gave me a little advice on the thought process he uses when he’s racing and it was a big help. He told me about some of the questions he asks himself and it was eye-opening. I definitely feel like I’m a better racer now than I was even a week ago.”
During the popular K&N Spring Fling 20’s event, which features four days of high-dollar E.T. bracket action on a 1,000-foot race course, Coughlin reeled off a string of second-round finishes before advancing to Round 4 in Sunday’s final race.
“It seemed like every time I was good, my opponent was just a little better,” Coughlin said. “That’s the way these big races are. You have to be almost perfect.
“Even though we didn’t win, I did have a great time. [Promoters] Peter Biondo and Kyle Seipel do a great job with this race and it was awesome to see the turnout they had. I’m already looking forward to coming back next year.”
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