One of the most memorable high-dollar races in NHRA history took place at Bristol Dragway in 2000 when officials lined up Top Fuel dragsters against Funny Cars to determine the real kings of the sport. At the same event, series sponsor Winston put up a whopping $50,000 for an all-star cast of Pro Stock drivers, and the world’s best gear-grinders were anxious to take home the big check.

After qualifying fourth overall, Troy Coughlin began his quest for $50K against multi-time IHRA champion “Tricky Rickie” Smith, who would later become his crew chief. After dispatching Smith, Coughlin took care of Richie “the Kid” Stevens and Ron “Krusher” Krisher to earn a berth in the final against Mark “Cowboy” Pawuk.

With his first Pro Stock victory in site, Coughlin managed to squeak out a .002-second win, running a 7.086 at 194.10 mph to Pawuk’s 7.100 at 194.24 mph to pocket a smooth $50,000 and take home what remains one of the most unique trophies in NHRA history.


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