“Can you tell we’re tired of snow?” Jeg Jr. said with a laugh. “It’s pretty rare when we all have the same time off to go test but it’s come together now and I know we’re all excited. Each of us has some things they need to try to figure out with our racecars, which is exactly what testing is for, so we’re going to Florida with a laundry list of things to do.”
Jeg Jr. has completed two races of the 23-event Full Throttle Drag Racing Series with little to show for his efforts. He’s hoping to better figure out his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt in testing so he’s ready for the upcoming 41st annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals, which begin Friday at Gainesville Raceway.
“Pro Stock remains so tough,” he said. “Every thousandth of a second makes a huge difference. I don’t think any Pro Stock team ever is 100 percent happy with its car. That’s part of what makes the class so exciting. We’re not far off. We just need to massage the set-up a little and we’ll be in good shape.”
After scoring his first world title last season, Troy Sr. is switching back to Pro Mod and will compete in the inaugural NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. This season will mark the first time in its history Pro Mod is officially recognized by drag racing’s largest sanctioning body. In year’s past, Pro Mod has run as an exhibition class.
“They’re giving out Wallys now so everyone wants to be a part of history,” Troy Sr. said of the NHRA’s iconic trophy. “We have a brand-new Camaro and it’s showing us so many promising signs, but you never know exactly where you’re at with it until you show up at that first race, which for Pro Mod is Gainesville. We want to do everything we can in this test session to make sure we’re running at full speed.”
North of Miami, John will be banging gears for the first time in a number of years. The reigning and two-time Top Dragster champion has a new Competition Eliminator hot rod he’ll be racing for the first time, while also testing his tried and true JEGS.com Top Dragster at PBIR.
Like his older brother, Mike is preparing for his second Division 3 title defense in his award-winning JEGS.com Top Sportsman machine. Both Mike and John won their Division 3 titles in 2007 and 2009.
The newest national event winner in the Coughlin family, Troy Jr. is ready to log some more seat time in the same JEGS.com Super Comp dragster he drove to victory at the national event in Las Vegas last November.
“I’m ready to go,” T.J. said. “I’ve been practicing all winter long but nothing compares with the real thing. To me, any day at the track is like Spring Break so I’m going to be smiling the whole time. The car should be in good shape and we’ll make as many passes as we can to fine-tune it.”
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Scott “Woody” Woodruff
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