GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13) – rookie Troy Coughlin Jr. made it look easy in his professional debut in the J&A Service Pro Mod Series.

The son of 2012 Pro Mod champion Troy Coughlin drove his Corvette to the provisional No. 1 qualifier in the Real Pro Mod Association/Jerry Bickel Race Cars Pro Mod event Friday during the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway.

Coughlin's pass of 5.876 seconds at 251.49 mph topped the chart of the 27 Pro Mod cars that made runs in the two qualifying sessions Friday. His dad was No. 4 overall, with a run of 5.893 seconds at 252.43 mph that was the fastest speed of the day.

"We were low ET for the session, and Pops was top speed," Coughlin said. "All in all, a great day for the team. I couldn't think of a better way to start my pro career, and of course I'd love to hold on to that No. 1 spot."

Coughlin is moving up to the NHRA Pro Mod series for 2015 after a successful Sportsman career that included the NHRA Division 3 Super Gas championship and numerous races – notably two U.S. Nationals victories.

He is driving the yellow-and-black Corvette that his dad drove a year ago.

"I have to thank everybody who played such a huge role in getting this off the ground: crew chief Steve Petty, Mike Rees, Kyle Pettis, Justin Beaver and everyone at JEGS Mail Order," Coughlin said. "This is certainly a dream come true to drive this car, and I couldn't do it without them.

"I know I have a lot to learn this year, but this was a terrific first step. We're in it for the long haul, and I appreciate the opportunity to represent my family and JEGS in the Pro Mod series. I don't take that responsibility lightly."



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