Englishtown: Series Pro Mod round five preview

COUGHLIN SEEKING NHRA SUPERNATIONALS VICTORY IN HIGHLY-COMPETITIVE GET SCREENED AMERICA PRO MOD SERIES ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Troy Coughlin vividly remembers his first victory in NHRA Pro Mod exhibition racing. During the 2005 challenge series he...

COUGHLIN SEEKING NHRA SUPERNATIONALS VICTORY IN HIGHLY-COMPETITIVE GET SCREENED AMERICA PRO MOD SERIES

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Troy Coughlin vividly remembers his first victory in NHRA Pro Mod exhibition racing. During the 2005 challenge series he beat Zach Barklage in the NHRA SuperNationals final round to claim the event trophy.

Coughlin says the best thing about winning that race at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, was that on that particular weekend it was Father's Day. Coughlin was able to dedicate the win to his famous racing father, Jeg Coughlin Sr. It is something he had watched his three other racing brothers do already on previous patriarch holidays.

"That was pretty cool," Coughlin said. "I was the last of my brothers to win a race for dad on Father's Day, so that is always one of the special races I will remember winning."

As Coughlin returns to Raceway Park June 10-13 for the 41st annual NHRA SuperNationals, he will be focusing on winning his first official Wally trophy in the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. Should he win the race, he'll be able to give his father an early Father's Day present, as the traditional holiday falls one week later this year.

Coughlin is currently fifth in the point standings in his nitrous-powered JEGS.com '68 Camaro. His best finish this season is a semifinal effort at St. Louis.

Coughlin and Jay Payne remain the only two drivers in the series who have qualified for all four events in the 10-race campaign. With an average entry of 26 cars at each event and only 16 starting positions, the competition to qualify for eliminations has been extremely cut-throat.

"This is the best of the best in Pro Mod racing," Coughlin said. "It is unbelievable how this class has come together. Every driver out here has had success at drag racing's highest levels. It's incredible."

After a distinguished career in NHRA Full Throttle Series Pro Stock racing where he won two national events in 13 career final rounds and an all-star race victory, Coughlin was intrigued by the diverse engine combinations for the powerful doorslammer machines and made the transition to Pro Mod racing when NHRA first introduced the division as an exhibition category. Like brothers John, Mike and Jeg Jr., Troy also has competed in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series, where he earned a victory in Super Gas.

He says he feels good about his team's chances to earn a victory in the historic inaugural season for Pro Mod in NHRA.

"We're pretty close," Coughlin said. "We need to minimize our mistakes. If I can do a good job driving I believe a win is just around the corner for this team. We've got to dig deep and make it happen."

He says historic Raceway Park provides a great venue for the Pro Mod series.

"The track surface is so smooth there and depending on weather conditions it is usually a really fast racetrack," Coughlin said. "This event is coming at a nice time in the season for us and it will be the halfway point of the schedule. It would be nice to get a win there and then focus on finishing the season strong."

Featuring the world's fastest and most unique doorslammer cars with an extremely diverse collection of vehicles, including '63 Corvettes, '68 Camaros, '67 Mustangs, '68 Firebirds as well as late model cars, the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast.

"The fans love to see these cars make five-second runs," Coughlin said. "It's great to see the fans get behind the class they way they have. It's very exciting racing."

In addition to Coughlin, other pre-race favorites in the category are series points leader Von Smith, who won in St. Louis, Houston winner Danny Rowe, Gainesville winner Kenny Lang and veteran racers Jay Payne and Melanie Troxel. Others to watch include Roger Burgess, Ray Commisso, Burton Auxier, Mike Knowles and Ed Hoover. New Jersey native and veteran drag racer Pat Musi, from Carteret, will make his Get Screened America Pro Mod Series debut at the event in a 2009 Dodge Stratus.

* SCHEDULE: Get Screened America qualifying sessions are scheduled for 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. on June 11 and the final qualifying session is at 2 p.m. on June 12. The first round of eliminations begins June 12 at 5 p.m. Pro Mod eliminations will continue on Sunday, June 13, starting at approximately 2 p.m.

* TICKETS: Tickets are available for the NHRA SuperNationals. Please call Raceway Park at (732) 446-7800 or visit www.racewaypark.com to purchase tickets online.

* ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise 30-minutes of racing highlights from the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series portion of the NHRA SuperNationals Sunday, June 19 at 1:30 p.m. (ET).

-source: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Ed Hoover , Melanie Troxel , Jay Payne , Zach Barklage , Von Smith , Danny Rowe , Mike Knowles , Roger Burgess , Kenny Lang