BRADENTON, Fla. (March 30) — Veteran drag racer Troy Coughlin racked up a respectable fourth-place finish Sunday at the season-opening seventh annual Ross Racing Pistons NMCA Muscle Car Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park.

Competing in the Scorpion Performance Pro Street class of the NMCA Edelbrock Drag Racing Series, Coughlin qualified his Pontiac GXP in the No. 3 spot with a 6.431 at 219.13 mph. It was a great start for the 44-year-old from Delaware, Ohio, who last ran the NMCA’s Pro Street category in 2006 when he finished second overall.

Moving to race day, the start of which was delayed until mid-afternoon by rain, Coughlin opened against Vincent Demieri. When the lights flashed, Coughlin streaked off the line first with a weekend-best .015-second reaction time to Demieri’s .054-second start. Coughlin never looked back, zipping to a 6.455 at 220.10 mph against Demieri’s out-of-shape and resigned 10.271 at 80.71 mph.

Looking for a little more performance as conditions drastically improved, the crew went to work on their hot rod and delivered big-time with Coughlin pulling off a huge 6.368 at 221.51 mph in the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, Coughlin was late at the tree, allowing opponent Chris Rini to steal away the victory with a 6.442 at 218.55 mph.

Coughlin and crew have a little more than a month to prepare for the next event, the eighth annual NOS NMCA Muscle Car Nationals, which run May 1-3 at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky.


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