READING, Pa. (June 4) — Veteran racer Troy Coughlin has competed at Maple Grove Raceway so many times he’s lost track of his visits. So as he arrives in town for this weekend’s Kooks Custom Headers NMCA Muscle Car Nationals, his experience tells him a through examination of the racing surface is top priority.

“I’ve raced Maple Grove in a variety of sportsman cars. We’ve bracket raced there. We’ve run NHRA Pro Stock, and NMCA Pro Street, so I feel like I have seen this track from every angle,” Coughlin said. “The one thing that’s taught me is the track can throw a lot of different looks at you.

“Without question, the NHRA does the best job of prepping tracks so when I’ve run Pro Stock there in the past, it was perfect. Plus, they have those nitro cars putting rubber all the way down the track. There’s no way to duplicate that. The other races there have all been different, and you really have to walk that track and see what it’s going to give you.”

Early in the NMCA season, Coughlin and crewmen Bryan Metzenheim, Clint Allerton and Mike Rees have done a great job of matching their Jerry Haas-built Pontiac GXP to the power curve of their powerful 830 cubic inch powerplant. Through two events, they are fourth in the Scorpion Performance Pro Street points.

“We’re really pleased with the car,” Coughlin said. “You never know when you roll out a new car how long it’s going to take to get it sorted out, but this GXP has been very responsive to everything we’ve tried.

“We’re running 6.3s at 220 mph already but we think there’s more in it. The guys have changed the timing a little and we think it’s going to pick us up a touch. We’ll find out Friday. Hopefully, the track is there for us.”

Coughlin participated in the NMCA part-time in 2005 and came in ninth. He returned full-time a year later and scored a runner-up finish in the championship standings.

Gates open at noon Friday with a test-and-tune session set for 3 p.m. and the first round of qualifying scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday will feature two more rounds of qualifying, with Sunday reserved for final eliminations. For more information, log onto NMCA


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