“This car is incredibly fast,” said Coughlin, the only Pro Mod racer to qualify for every event in 2010. “It’s the quickest car I’ve ever driven. I feel like a kid again because I find myself thinking about it at random times. I can’t wait to get back to the track.”
Coughlin will compete in Sin City with new crew chief Jake Hairston’s racecar as he awaits delivery of his own Chevrolet Camaro, which is currently being built. The Hairston family won numerous West Coast races with the car, which is powered by a 396-cid turbocharged engine capable of five-second runs at more than 240 mph.
When Coughlin’s Camaro is completed, it will run the same engine combination.
“I think we’re going to see a time in the not-to-distant future when the turbos will run the same numbers as the supercharged cars at every event,” Coughlin said. “There won’t be great runs here or there; they’ll happen every round. We tried the turbo combination four years ago but the parts and pieces available back then weren’t reliable. Now they are, and we’re seeing record runs just about every race from a turbo car.
“It’s an animal to drive. The car pulls so hard and it really puts you back in the seat. You can feel it wants to run, and that’s exciting.”
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the perfect place for Coughlin to unleash his beast. The last time he was in town, at the fall event, he raced to the final four before bowing out to Melanie Troxel. One year prior, Coughlin’s son Troy Jr. won the event in his JEGS.com Super Comp dragster, his first national event victory. Coughlin’s brother Jeg has five Vegas trophies on his mantle.
“It’s a great track and it’s produced a lot of wonderful memories for our family,” Coughlin said. “I’d like to add another one this weekend.
“The best thing for a driver is to pull through the gates knowing you have a legitimate chance to win the race. With Jake and the guys, I know I have the best crew, and this turbo racecar is capable of being the quickest hot rod at the track. It’s a great feeling.”
Qualifying rounds begin at 2 and 5:30 p.m. PDT, Friday, and continue with one final round at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Eliminations start at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. This event will air at 4 p.m. EDT, Saturday, April 9, on ESPN2.
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