LAS VEGAS - To understand the competitiveness associated with the Pro Stock category, look no farther than one simple statistic: 22 events, 14 different winners, and only three drivers scoring more than one victory on the year. After nine career...
LAS VEGAS - To understand the competitiveness associated with the Pro Stock category, look no farther than one simple statistic: 22 events, 14 different winners, and only three drivers scoring more than one victory on the year.
After nine career runner-up finishes Troy Coughlin joined the list of NHRA Pro Stock winners, earning his first career national event victory outside of Reading, Pa. last month. Coughlin became the last of the four Coughlin brothers to score that big win. His victory is a testament to the Pro Stock competition and the new in-house engine program that Team Jeg's has initiated.
Troy and younger brother Jeg will return to The Strip at the state-of-the-art Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the inaugural ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Oct. 25-28. The $1.9 million race, the 23rd of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.
A little more than 250 points separate No. 3 through No. 10 in the Winston standings in the 200-plus-mph category. Every round and qualifying position becomes crucial as teams battle for valuable Winston points.
"Pro Stock is about as competitive as it gets," said the 37-year-old Coughlin. "You have to do thousands of things right. When one thing is wrong, that is the difference between winning and losing. Having as many different winners as we have had this season speaks very highly of just how close in performance the entire Pro Stock class is."
All four Coughlin brothers have experienced their share of racing success in their identically painted Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolets, and their engine program seems to be improving an already impressive Pro Stock curriculum.
Jeg is the defending NHRA Winston Pro Stock champ and recently set the national record for elapsed time (6.750 seconds) in his Cavalier. His brother Mike drove his Chevy S-10 to two straight wins earlier in the season and holds both the time (7.379) and speed (182.65 mph) records for a Pro Stock Truck. Troy added his big win to the mix and Team Jeg's seems poised for a title run next year behind the power of their engine campaign.
"Bringing our engine program in-house was the best thing that we ever did," said Troy. "If you want to control your own destiny you have to be accountable for everything."
Team Jeg's enters the home stretch of the NHRA's 50th Anniversary season hoping to close it out with a strong performance at a facility where Jeg has been dominant for two straight April events. An all yellow-and-black Cavalier final is what is desired from the Columbus, Ohio, based team, as they try and continue their streak of success in the desert.
"We have been fortunate to win both races that have been held at The Strip," said 31-year-old Jeg. "(Our team) has had a great handle on high altitude tracks in the past and having the data that we have should help get us to the winners circle for a third straight time. The facility that Bruton Smith and his staff have put together in Las Vegas is an example of what NHRA drag racing will look like in the future. Driving at a first class facility like The Strip gives you extra energy and makes you work harder to win."