ST. LOUIS (Sept. 27) – driver T.J. Coughlin ran out of luck in the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park. But he was still able to celebrate a victory.

Coughlin lost in the second round of Super Gas and the first round of Super Comp on Saturday, but he was able to watch his dad, Troy Coughlin, win the continuation of the Charlotte Pro Mod race here.

"Pops got the checkers for the Charlotte race, and hopefully we can get him back in it for St. Louis, too," the younger Coughlin said. "Lot of good."

T.J. Coughlin has been on a roll lately in NHRA Sportsman racing, winning the U.S. Nationals and JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals in Super Gas and divisional races at Cecil County, Md.

"Good fortune, good luck, good equipment," Coughlin said. "Great help. It's one big recipe, and we happened to get it right the past few weeks."

But he didn't have the same kind of fortune at Gateway.

"My family told me there'd be days like these," Coughlin said. "They're humble reminders that you've got to really pay attention to everything and focus. You learn something every time. That's just the way it is. We're going to take nothing but good from it."

Coughlin won his first-round match against Tim Gillespie in Super Gas, making a 9.932-second run on a 9.90 index after a .032-second reaction time. In the second round, though, despite an advantage on the Christmas Tree, Danny Nelson got the victory.

Coughlin's .011 light gave him a .007-second advantage on the Tree, but Nelson ran .016 seconds over the index, while Coughlin's pass was 9.929 seconds. The margin of victory was 0.0069 seconds.

Coughlin's next event will be the NHRA Nationals next week at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.

"We're going to go to Reading next week," Coughlin said. "We'll have both cars there, and it should be good. We'll be ready to go. We've got to do the small, preventative maintenance things and go try again."



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