TLR AMS Pro Mod Series
NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals
Troy Coughlin – Pro Mod
JEGS Mail Order / ’67 Ford Mustang
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Eight months after making the decision to switch from Pro Stock to Pro Mod, veteran drag racer Troy Coughlin has done so much testing in his new ’67 Mustang that he can’t even recall the amount of passes he’s made down the track without looking in his log book. But he does know one thing without hesitation — It’s time to race.
Coughlin will finally get the chance to satisfy his racing “Jones” March 17-20 at historic Gainesville Raceway when the 14-race AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge opens its season with the running of the 36th annual Gatornationals.
“I can’t recall ever being this excited about racing,” said Coughlin, who has 11 years and 216 national events worth of experience in a Pro Stock car. “I’ve driven a lot of different cars and dragsters over the years but this Jeg’s Mail Order Pro Mod machine is totally different from anything else I’ve ever strapped myself into.
“The sensation and speed of these cars is awesome. When you drop the clutch it sets you back in the seat and it doesn’t let up until you lift off the gas at the top end. It’s like haulin’ ass down the freeway with the baddest car in the world. They are so fast.”
Fast is the operative word when Coughlin tries to describe how a Pro Mod car is different from a Pro Stocker.
“Everything happens so much faster and there is so much more to do in the cockpit,” Coughlin said. “There’s a lot more on the driver. The crew chief will tell you what RPM he wants you to leave at, usually somewhere between four and five thousand RPM, and you have to bring the motor up to that mark when you pre-stage. Then you have to creep into the beams without wavering from that mark and make absolutely sure you drop the clutch right on time. There are a lot of variables but you have to try to do it exactly the same way every time so the guys can tune the car.
“Once you’re going down the track it’s so much quicker to each timing cone. You get to halftrack in 4.02 seconds, compared to 4.35 seconds in a Pro Stock car, and you’re already going 185 mph by then. It’s such a rush.”
Although Coughlin sounds as excited as a kid on Christmas morning, the 12-time national event finalist knows he has the ability to contend for race titles right from the start. His teammate, Mike Ashley, won the AMS Pro Mod Challenge in ’04 and the crew has prepared a car identical to Ashley’s championship-winning ride for Coughlin.
“As a Pro Mod driver I’m on an ongoing learning curve,” Coughlin said. “But I’d like to think my experience will help me keep mistakes to a minimum. I feel confident about our chances because I know we have the team, car, and engine program that won it all last year. We can definitely win right away. I can’t wait to get after it.”
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TLR AMS Pro Mod Series