BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 5) — Troy Coughlin returns to the site of one of his biggest drag racing victories this weekend when he competes at the seventh annual O’Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Q at Bristol Dragway. Coughlin scored $50,000 at famed Thunder Valley in 2000 when he outlasted a field of Pro Stock all-stars to win the Winston Showdown.

“That was a very proud moment for our family and our race team,” Coughlin said. “The Winston Showdown featured the best of the best in the Pro Stock class and I remember being very honored just to be a part of it all. Then on race day we just put it all together and got the win. It’s a very special memory for me.

“My little brother Jeg had won that deal the year before so between us we had back-to-back wins for JEGS and all our associates. That was very cool. The $50,000 top prize was fun to get also.”

This time through, Coughlin will be looking for glory in the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge as he continues the development of his twin-turbo Pontiac GTO. The one-of-a-kind hot rod is getting quicker every event and Coughlin hopes this weekend’s contest in Bristol will be a turning point for his rookie team.

“The car really started picking up and responding to what we were doing to it at the last race in Englishtown,” Coughlin said. “We’re making massive horsepower; that’s not the problem at all. It’s just getting that power to stick on the track.

“As I’ve stated before, we’re not interested in making the field. We want to win races. We want to be contenders for the championship every year. I know beyond any doubt this car will rule the world one day. It’s just taking a little time to get it sorted out. We have to be very judicious with how we apply the power we’re making.

“The one thing I am very proud of to this point is the attitude and work ethic of my team. The guys are as excited as I am about the potential of this car and they just keep working so hard on making us better. This is a great group and I’m really pumped up to have them behind me in this effort.”

Pro Mod qualifying begins Friday at 4:45 and 7:15 p.m.

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