CONCORD, N.C. – The parachutes on Troy Coughlin’s JEGS.com Camaro remained packed after the first round of eliminations Saturday in the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at zMax Dragway.
That’s because Coughlin’s engine suffered a failure in the valve train as it made a burnout, and Coughlin was knocked out of the race as he barely moved off the starting line.
“We had a valve not close,” Coughlin said. “We either bent it or something busted on it in the burnout. I realized when I was backing up that it just didn’t sound very good. I just kept thinking, ‘Man, I’m not sure what to do except race and see what happens.’”
But as he pressed the accelerator and let the clutch out for the green light, he realized he better let off the gas pedal to save the engine.
“You don’t want the nitrous in the wrong place at the wrong time because it’s disaster,” Coughlin said.
He ran strong up to that point, qualifying in the No. 10 spot with a best pass of 5.973 seconds at 238.26 mph. He was paired with Scott Ray in the first round. Ray’s qualifying number was a 5.959 seconds at 241.50 mph.
Coughlin, unfortunately, has suffered through two consecutive first-round eliminations because of mechanical failure. In the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Coughlin had a leak in the nitrous system that forced him out.
“We’ve had a pretty strong car the last couple of races and the little things have been biting us a little bit. All the guys at JEGS.com will get their ink pens out and cross their T’s dot there I’s and just make sure we’ve got the best parts from stock to put in it and try to gear it up and get ready for the next race out in Vegas.
“That’s all we can do. A couple of the other guys got beat in the first round that we could’ve made a good move in the points. I don’t know if we can win the championship, but we could probably get in the No. 3 spot, maybe the No. 2 spot. But we’re making it harder and harder.”
Coughlin will race the JEGS.com Camaro one final time this season in the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals Oct. 28-31 in Las Vegas.
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