HOUSTON (April 19) — This weekend’s 35th running of the NHRA SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Park is the grand finale at the famous Southeast Texas quarter mile strip, placing a lot of significance on the event. Team JEGS championship-winning drag racers Troy Coughlin Jr. and Mike Coughlin are certainly anxious to add their names to HRP’s history book with last-chance wins in their respective categories, Pro Stock and Top Alcohol Dragster.
“It’s the last race ever at Houston Raceway Park and I’d love to get my first-ever win in Pro Stock to mark this really special occasion,” said Troy Jr., driver of the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stock entry. “My uncle Jeg won his first Pro Stock race here back in 1997 and went on to win 64 more in the class, including a total of five at this track, so this place has definitely been kind to Team JEGS through the years.
“Plus, my dad (Troy Sr.) made his Pro Stock debut here in 1994 and my uncle John won Super Gas here in 1995. There’s lots of history for the sport and for our family at HRP.”
A two-time regional champ in Top Alcohol Dragster, Troy Jr. is bringing an almost-new RJ Race Cars-built Pro Stocker to Houston. In its initial race in Las Vegas three weeks ago, the beautiful hot rod qualified fifth overall and carried Troy Jr. to the semifinals of the four-wide affair.
“Mark Ingersoll, Kyle Bates, Ricky Calloway and Kelly Murphy were really pleased with how the car worked in Vegas and now that they’ve had three more weeks to wrench on it, we’re all expecting bigger and better things this weekend. The guys from the engine shop tell me the new powerplants are making good smoke so maybe everything actually will be bigger in Texas.
“I’m so ready to break through and get our first Pro Stock win. There’s a ton of people behind this effort, from the entire Elite Motorsports group, to the hundreds of JEGS associates, to my dad, uncles and grandfather, it’s truly an army of support. The best way to express my gratitude is to collect wins, so we’ll continue to push hard.”
Troy Jr. will be joined by his wife Brenna, their daughter Aubrey, his mother Michelle, and his aforementioned uncle Mike, who will be vying for his second Top Alcohol Dragster win in just his third start of the year.
After accumulating three North Central Divisional championships through the years — two in Top Sportsman (2007 and 2009) and one in Top Dragster (2019) — Mike stepped up to Top Alcohol Dragster this year with McPhillips Racing, winning the season-opener in Pomona, Calif.
“We haven’t changed a thing,” Mike said of his JEGS.com rail. “We got the same people, the same car, the same everything we had in Pomona and Gainesville (Fla., where he reached the semifinals.) Rich and Rich McPhillips Jr., Duke Roney, Don Nolan, Darrell McComas and Tony Collier are the best in the sport and I know the car will be perfect.
“The McPhillips team actually has two victories this year because Matt Cummings won in Belle Rose (La.) the weekend after I won in Pomona with the exact same dragster. Matt and I are splitting the season between us. It’s pretty incredible to see how seamlessly the crew adjusts to so many variables, right down to who’s in the cockpit.”
Both Troy Jr. and Mike expressed their thanks and best wishes to the Angel family, the longtime track owners of Houston Raceway Park.