INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 6) – It takes every part and piece on a race car to work in concert for a driver to turn the win light on. When a weak link breaks, it can ruin an otherwise bright race weekend.

For Troy Coughlin, driver of the Camaro in the get Screened America Pro Mod Series, a relatively inexpensive part in his car’s nitrous injection system handcuffed him during the first round of eliminations at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals on Sunday.

“We had a good hot rod all weekend,” Coughlin said. “We were a top half player then we had a problem with the nitrous.”

Coughlin was the No. 4 qualifier with a best pass of 5.928 seconds at 238.51 mph and faced Joe Baker in the first round of eliminations.

The car’s nitrous system (where the Camaro gets its horsepower boost) had a leak that Coughlin and crew thought had been repaired. When Coughlin went to do his burnout, he noticed right away that there was still an issue.

“I could hear it hissing,” Coughlin said. “I radioed the team right away, and thank goodness these guys race nitrous cars themselves. The shut the bottles down right away, so we didn’t waste the nitrous. We went to the starting line with less pressure in the engine than we wanted.”

That missing element caused a chain reaction of power loss. The rear tires didn’t get enough spin to get the car going straight, and Coughlin lurched to the left off the hit and Baker drove away to the victory with a pass of 6.006 seconds at 236.17 mph. Coughlin limped across with a run of 9.921 at 90.03 mph.

“If we would have had another 200 or 300 pounds of pressure in the engine, we would have gone straight,” Coughlin said. “We just need to jiggle with some of the inexpensive items in this thing and figure out where the problem lies.

“There’s a piece that still has a problem, and we’re going to backtrack and check every line, fitting and end to make sure it’s all right before we get to the next race.”

Up next for Coughlin and his Camaro is the third annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals on Sept. 16-19 from zMax Dragway outside Charlotte.


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