CHARLOTTE (Aug. 5) — Defending NMCA Pro Street world champion Troy Coughlin plans on improving his current seventh place ranking in the championship standings with a big weekend at zMax Dragway during the second annual Nitto Tire NMCA All Star Nationals.

Working from a deficit after missing the first NMCA race of the year due to a scheduling conflict with his efforts in the NHRA’s Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, Coughlin only decided to defend his NMCA crown after the second race of the series was lost to weather. Now, instead of being two races behind, he’s only one, giving him a fighting chance with three events left on the ledger.

“We know we need to be as perfect as possible to give ourselves a chance at this thing,” Coughlin said. “Brian (Metzenheim) and the guys have basically rebuilt the whole car since the last race. They rewired it and worked on the transmission. Sonny Leonard went through the engine. Everything is as good as it can be heading into a race.

“Bruton Smith really built a masterpiece with zMax Dragway and I feel a lot of confidence heading into this race because we’ve been to zMax several times now so we have a good bit of data. I’m expecting a big weekend.”

Coughlin is averaging 605 points per event. Had he not missed an event, he would theoretically be second overall, just 45 points behind leader Joe Dunne.

“We’re not worrying about the points right now,” he said. “Basically, the season is halfway done and we’re right in the mix. We plan on racing hard at these last three events, having as much fun as humanly possible, and letting the chips fall where they may.

“It all starts this weekend and my in-laws live in Raleigh, N.C., and they are planning to come over and visit with my wife Julie and the kids. We’ll have the whole gang here so it will be a great time for the entire family. Of course, winning some rounds would sure make it special. We’ll see what we can do.”

Pro Street qualifying begins with two sessions at 1 and 5 p.m. EDT on Friday.

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