BRADENTON, Fla. (April 10) — A strong showing at the Detroit Locker NMCA Hot Rod and Muscle Car Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park has placed JEG’S Mail Order racer Troy Coughlin fifth in the championship points standings after the first of seven events on the National Muscle Car Association Edelbrock Drag Racing Series.

After qualifying his JEG’S Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier fourth in the 16-car elimination field of the Denso Spark Plugs Pro Street category with a steady 6.625 at 209.79 mph, Coughlin raced to the quarterfinal round before giving away a trip to the final four by leaving the starting line five-thousandths of a second early.

It was an unfortunate and rare miscue for the veteran racer, who clearly had the quicker car in the round, running a 6.62 to his opponent’s 6.70-second pass.

“I didn’t need to do that,” Coughlin said of his red-light disqualification. “We had our opponent covered. It was the same thing in Round 1 where we had the guy covered and I was thinking to myself that I didn’t need to cut the Christmas Tree down to win. The problem is that you can’t slow your mind down or get out of your regular procedure.

“Red lights happen. They’re part of the sport and I’m certainly not immune to them. My lights were perfect in time trials. They were right where we wanted them to be. The guys gave me a great car. We were definitely a player. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the next race. I wish it was this coming weekend.”

By virtue of his fourth-place qualifying effort, Coughlin gathered the most points of the four drivers that exited the competition in Round 2, which places him fifth in the early ranking for the Pro Street, the quickest and fastest category on the circuit.

“I really feel like we’re going to be a player in this sanction all year,” Coughlin said.

Coughlin’s next race will be the JEG’S.com NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals, which run from April 21-23 at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, La. He’ll be competing in the same JEG’S Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier he raced this past weekend, only in the Top Sportsman class. He hopes to qualify for both the Quick 32 field and the Quick 8 Shootout on Saturday night.

His next NMCA event comes on May 5-7 with the fifth annual NOS NMCA Hot Rod & Muscle Car Nationals at Beach Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Ky.

As a special treat to viewers tuning in to the television coverage of this event on ESPN2, Coughlin will be carrying a special in-car camera to bring the action right to the many fans of JEG’S Mail Order Racing.

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