DALLAS (Sept. 17) — With just a handful of passes on his brand-new, Tommy Mauney-built Pro Mod ’68 Camaro racecar, Troy Coughlin couldn’t be happier with its performance. That’s why the veteran racer is more than a little excited to resume racing this weekend in the JEGS ProMod Challenge at the 23rd annual Super Start Batteries NHRA Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.

“Before Indy a few weeks ago, I was out of the cockpit for four months after our wreck in Atlanta so I’m making up for lost time,” Coughlin said. “The U.S. Nationals really was an encouraging race for us. Just by qualifying for that field we realized we’re getting a lot closer to where we need to be with the tune-up. Any time you have a new car, you have to find out what it likes. I think we did that in Indy.

“Now we can go to Dallas and hopefully pick up right where we left off. I’m certainly ready to get back in the car and make some passes.”

Coughlin qualified his JEGS.com Camaro in the No. 10 spot in Indianapolis, running a 6.048 at 238.64 mph in the final time trial to make the field at the sport’s longest-running and most prestigious race. He then ran a 6.091 at 236.38 mph in eliminations but lost a close race to eventual race winner Mike Castellana.

“It was great to get the blood pumping again and to feel the rush of competition,” Coughlin said. “It was Mike’s day in Indy so hopefully our turn is coming up soon.”

Sidelined against his will while his team recovered from his brush with the wall in Atlanta, Coughlin had to wait for his new car to be completed in order to return to action. Because he missed a few races during his down time, he’s out of the championship chase, but that hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for winning.

“We’ll try to be the spoilers now,” he said. “We’ve got three more races before the season is over and I’d really like to win one of them. Our focus is more on going rounds and making good passes every time out there but if you do that with any consistency, you end up putting yourself in position to win races.

“It’ll be neat to race with my brother Jeg again also. He’s right in the thick of the Pro Stock championship chase again so I’ll be right there as his No. 1 fan every time he makes a pass this weekend.”

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