HOUSTON (April 27) — Fresh off his second world championship campaign in the J&A Services Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, Troy Coughlin is excited to return to Southeast Texas for this weekend's 29th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway.
"Our JEGS.com Chevrolet Stingray is ready to roll," Coughlin said. "The car ran exceptionally well at the Pro Mod season opener in Gainesville (Fla.) and we didn't feel the need to change much so the boys just went over everything and performed normal maintenance.
"We weren't the quickest car in Florida but we were up near the top of the sheets and if not for an almost perfect reaction time by Steve Matusek in our first race, we would have gone some rounds there. That's drag racing and those things happen. It's hard to predict the guy in the other lane pulling off a .003 light so when it happens you just shake his hand and say, 'nice job.'"
The last four years have proven Coughlin is never one to be taken lightly as he has recorded two championships in 2012 and 2015, and two runner-up results in the title chase, in 2013 and 2014.
"When you have Steve Petty tuning your car and crew guys like Kyle Pettis and Mike Rees spinning the wrenches, it makes my job so much easier," Coughlin said. "The biggest feeling I have is an intense desire to do well so my guys can see that all their hard is paying off for us. The best thing to do is turn on win lights on race day. That makes everyone happy.
"Houston would be a great race to win. I love the track and the fans in Texas are awesome. Plus, the facility is owned and operated by a great drag racing family, the Angels. They grew up just like my brothers and I did, at the racetrack, so they understand the sport well and that translates to a welcoming environment for everyone."
Aside from his own racing and the time he'll spend supporting his brother Jeg, who is competing in Pro Stock this weekend, Troy has one more thing to cross off his to-do list while he's here.
"I've heard so much good stuff about Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants and I know they are supporting Jeg's teammate Erica Enders again this weekend so I want to make sure I have time to eat the best Mexican food in the world this time through," Troy said. "I'm actually flying in early just to eat there.
"Stan and Sheila Mae Holt, the owners of Lupe Tortilla, have set up dinner for us Thursday night so I'm actually planning on starving myself until I get there so I'm good and hungry."
Pro Mod qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4 and 6 p.m. CT, Friday, and 2:30 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations start with Round 1 at 5 p.m., Saturday and resume at 12:15 p.m., Sunday.