Phoenix: Troy Coughlin final summary

Troy Coughlin returns to the roots of Pro Modified for his debut HATTIESBURG, MS. -- Troy Coughlin knew headed into this season's Pro Modified debut that he needed some time at the smaller racing venues to get the full effect of the outlaw drag...

Troy Coughlin returns to the roots of Pro Modified for his debut

HATTIESBURG, MS. -- Troy Coughlin knew headed into this season's Pro Modified debut that he needed some time at the smaller racing venues to get the full effect of the outlaw drag racing style. That's why when the opportunity to participate in a Quick Eight in Hattiesburg, MS., came along as part of the American Drag Racing League series the former NHRA Pro Stock racer wasted no time in preparing himself mentally for the challenge.

Coughlin, driving the Jeg's Mail Order-sponsored '67 Shelby GT500, accepted the task of running the eighth-mile event at a track that still sported Armco guardrails and a complex surface.

For Coughlin, it was all a part of getting the full Pro Modified persona.

"I was told ahead of time that this is the kind of facility that Pro Modified cut its teeth at," Coughlin said. "There's no doubt that I learned a lot about driving one of these cars. This certainly makes a better driver out of you."

The event was an eighth-mile venue, a different game plan than Coughlin is accustomed to. He admitted that doubts entered his mind but quickly faded once the supercharged, alcohol-burning powerplant came to life.

"I would be lying if I didn't say that I had a little bit of nervousness. This is certainly a fast car that demands you be on your toes at all times. The bugs are getting worked out."

Coughlin handled the experience like a seasoned veteran.

"The intimidation factor is about the same whether you are at one of these smaller venues or performing in front of hundreds of thousands of people at a major racing complex," Coughlin added. "The feeling is just as exciting in both. Regardless of how many are watching you and what you have going on, you just want to do your best. That's what drives us all.

"The track my be a bit narrower than I'm accustomed to running and the surface might not be as smooth, but the key lesson I've learned is to know when to say when. Either it's going to happen or it's not."

-tj-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Troy Coughlin