BRADENTON, Fla. (March 26) — Veteran racer Troy Coughlin kicks off his 2009 campaign this weekend at Bradenton Motorsports Park with the season-opening seventh annual Ross Racing Pistons NMCA Muscle Car Nationals, the first of seven races in the NMCA Edelbrock Drag Racing Series.

Following a runner-up finish in 2006, the last year he ran with the National Muscle Car Association, Coughlin will once again vie for the title of the quickest and fastest class in NMCA competition, Pro Street. Utilizing an 830 cubic inch powerplant under the hood of his brand-new Jerry Haas-built Pontiac GXP, Coughlin plans to contest all seven races on the schedule in his quest for a world championship.

“We’re excited and ready to start racing,” Coughlin said. “We took the car to the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, Louisiana, last weekend to make some runs and were very pleased with how it performed. Right out of the trailer we were running 6.40s at 220 mph, which should be right in line with where we need to be, and that was with the car pretty loose, running all over the track.

“We’ve only made nine passes on this chassis so we’re still finding exactly what it likes but my hats off to Jerry Haas and his crew because it’s a beautiful racecar.”

Coughlin and good friend Vinnie Budano went toe-to-toe for the ’06 Pro Street title with Budano edging Coughlin in the final race of the season. Prior to that season, Coughlin earned a ninth-place finish during a part-time NMCA campaign in 2005.

“We know what to expect and we know what we need to do to be competitive on the NMCA circuit,” said Coughlin, who raced Pro Mod the past two seasons. “I really like these types of cars and the fun we had in our two seasons in the NMCA have us really looking forward to getting back there with our friends.

“We’re racing for the title, no doubt. We don’t know any other way to do it besides all-out. It will be a battle because the racers on this circuit are top-notch but we’ll be up for the challenge, I can assure you.”

The 2009 Edelbrock NMCA Pro Racing Series will feature seven events in the following locations, Bradenton, Fla., Bowling Green, Ky., Reading, Pa., Joliet, Ill., Charlotte, N.C., Milan, Mich., and Memphis, Tenn.


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