NORWALK, Ohio (July 6) – JEGS.com Pro Mod driver Troy Coughlin was moments away from his first-round run at Norwalk when rain sent drivers, teams and fans scurrying for cover on Saturday.
The rain didn't let up, and NHRA postponed the remainder of the first round to Sunday. Coughlin, the No. 3 qualifier, will match up with No. 14 qualifier Chip King.
"We were two pairs of cars back when it started raining, which is a bummer," Coughlin said. "We almost got there, but NHRA plays it safe, and it's about safety, for sure. When they finally pulled the plug, it started a pretty big downpour for a couple hours, so it got worse. I'm glad they stopped it."
The rain let up later Saturday night, and Coughlin is hopeful to get in the full race Sunday.
"If stays like this throughout the night and the morning, we should be in pretty good shape," Coughlin said.
Coughlin should be in good shape, too, for his JEGS.com Corvette has been fast in Norwalk. He qualified No. 3 with a pass of 5.922 seconds at 244.07 mph in the first qualifying session.
Coughlin then followed that up with another quick pass, 5.964 seconds at 245.23 mph that paced Q2. The Pro Mod cars only ran two qualifying sessions because of rain throughout the weekend.
"I'm pretty excited about it," Coughlin said. "(Crew chief) Steve (Petty) and the guys have done a good job with the car, and they've given us a good race car. We were the fastest car in the second session and the third-fastest in the first, so we're off to a pretty good start. Now, we just have to maintain that through eliminations."
A good showing in Norwalk would mean a lot to Coughlin, an Ohio native who is leading the Pro Mod standings. He was joined this weekend by some children from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital, a benefactor of the JEGS Foundation.
"We have a lot of people from JEGS.com up here, and we had a couple kids from the cancer hospital, so it's neat to see them make the trip and hang out with us through the rain," Coughlin said. "It'd be really cool to win at the race.
"This is our halfway point to the season, too. If we won the race, we'd have the points lead and would be looking pretty good. It'd be exciting."