“It was a hot deal that was tough on all the cars,” Coughlin said. “We had a little bit of everything: rain, cloud cover, sun, and 130-degree track temps. The guys stayed busy.”
Through it all, Coughlin made a significant leap in the NMCA Pro Street standings, after entering the event in seventh place after missing the first event of the year due to a scheduling conflict.
“We made a pretty good stride in the points; I think we’re up to third now,” Coughlin said. “We’ve got two races left. We need Rini and Joe Dunne to get knocked out early in those last two races to have a realistic chance. It’s going to be tough to defend our championship but it’s still out there.”
Coughlin and crew had his JEGS.com hot rod car tuned into the hot, slick conditions at zMax Dragway, but a broken component during a run in the semifinals proved to be his undoing.
“We had a clutch pin slip in that round, which made the clutch spin real bad,” Coughlin said. “We fixed the pins, put it back on the line for the finals with the same settings and then it acted like it had too much clutch in it. Go figure.”
In the finals against Rini, Coughlin’s JEGS.com Pontiac GXP spun the tires off the line against Rini’s Dodge Stratus. Rini cruised to a winning pass of 6.437 seconds at 225.63 mph. Coughlin eventually got the car to go straight and he went across the line in 12.028 seconds at 73.64.
“It’s a shame because Rini was there for the taking,” Coughlin said. “It was our race to have, and it just didn’t roll our way.”
In the opening round, Coughlin overcame a .003 light by Robert Vorderer to breeze to a 6.296 second pass at 225.11 mph. Vorderer’s Camaro crossed the finish line in 7.844 seconds at 180.16 mph.
“That was a great pass,” Coughlin said. “It made us confident in our concept.”
During a solo run in the semifinals when Coughlin’s clutch pin broke, he ran a 7.294 second pass at 140.04 mph.
“We still had a good time,” Coughlin said. “We represented JEGS real good at the racetrack with hats, decals and banners. They knew we were there.”
Up next for Coughlin is the August 27-29 JE Pistons NMCA Nationals in Milan, Mich.
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