HOUSTON (April 30) — The best way for JEGS.com Pro Mod driver Troy Coughlin Sr. to beat the Texas heat is to keep winning rounds.
With temperatures approaching 90 degrees, Coughlin raced to the second round of the 29th annual NHRA SpringNationals on Saturday at Royal Purple Raceway. The No. 2 qualifier, Coughlin hopes to go some more rounds Sunday when the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Racing Series event is slated to conclude.
“(Crew chief) Steve, Mike (Rees), and Kyle (Pettis) went down to Dallas and tested for a couple days and figured out a couple of things on the car,” Coughlin said. “We’re just trying to get a little closer than we were going into Gainesville. The test session was pretty good for the JEGS.com car. We’re coming in here swinging hard.”
Coughlin was one of only two drivers to qualify better than 5.8 seconds when he snared the No. 2 spot with a pass of 5.798 seconds at 255.92 mph. In the final qualifying session, Coughlin and the JEGS.com team made some adjustments for the heat, but the car shook the tires and Coughlin lifted early.
“Q3, we tried to run it pretty hard to see what it would run in the heat,” Coughlin said. “We saw it didn’t like it, so we kinda put it back to try and calm things down, but the track stayed the same. We’ll take it. It’s a round-win, and we’ll have her tuned up for tomorrow.”
Facing alternate Jeff Naiser in the first round of eliminations on Saturday, Coughlin left first and made a pass of 5.917 seconds at 254.28 mph to get the win. Naiser’s run was 6.465 seconds at 239.65 mph.
Coughlin will race No. 7 qualifier Khalid alBalooshi, who beat Danny Rowe in E1, in the second round on Sunday.
Coughlin and his crew will be ready, thanks to “a lot of hydration” this weekend.
“We’re staying back in the pit area instead of going out and about,” Coughlin said. “We’re trying to stay focused and tuned in on what’s going on to try and win the race.
“They work pretty hard. They’re a five-star army over here, for sure. Everyone wants to win, and we’re trying to put our best foot forward. It’s showing.”