First Pro Mod, now Pro Street As the Pro Edelbrock Drag Racing Series continues to grow in popularity, it figured to be just a matter of time before it attracted the attention of professional racers from other venues. First, former Pro Stock ...
First Pro Mod, now Pro Street
As the Pro Edelbrock Drag Racing Series continues to grow in popularity, it figured to be just a matter of time before it attracted the attention of professional racers from other venues. First, former Pro Stock drivers Pat Musi and Tony Christian arrived on the scene, and now former Pro Stock driver and current AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod competitor Troy Coughlin has joined the mix.
Coughlin recently took delivery a new Jerry Haas-built Cavalier and he's set to make his Pro Street debut at the Lunati Hot Rod and Muscle Car Nationals in Bowling Green, Ky.
"When I decided to go Pro Mod racing this year, my original plan was to also build a Top Sportsman car so I could race [NHRA Division 3] races with my brothers," said Coughlin. "Then I went to the NMCA race in Bradenton and saw that the place was packed. I was really wowed by the whole thing, especially the Pro Street class. We only run 14 races a year in Pro Mod so I thought to myself, 'I should try this'."
In order to race this year, Coughlin needed a car that was already built and he found one at Jerry Haas' shop in St. Louis. With the help of friend Brian Metzenheim, who used to work on his Pro Stock team, Coughlin scanned the rulebook in order to determine the best Pro Street engine and transmission combination before eventually settling on a Sonny Leonard-built 830-cubic inch Chevy Hemi with fuel injection hooked to a three speed transmission with a torque converter.
"Nobody is running the particular combination right now but I think it will be very competitive combination," said Coughlin. "It's similar to what the IHRA Pro Stock guys use and they run 6.40s with their cars. I realize we'll lose some performance with the torque converter, but we also get a bit of a weight break. I was in Bradenton when Tim O'Hare ran 6.57 so I know we've got our work cut out for us. Without nitrous or a blower there are fewer knobs to twist but I believe it can be done."
Moving from Pro Stock to Pro Mod and now to Pro Street, Coughlin will also have to learn a new driving technique for the third time in less that a year, but he also feels that he's up to that task.
"You have to activate the trans-brake to get the car into a forward gear and that's a bit unusual for me," Coughlin continued. "I've had a lot of help from Brian and also from Craig Liberty and Bruno Massel. Hopefully, I'll get the hang of it pretty quickly."
Though his move to Pro Street was made primarily for competitive reasons, Coughlin noted that it also makes good sense for the family parts business, Jeg's Mail Order.
"When I went to Bradenton, I didn't see a lot of Jegs hats and stickers like I do at other events," Coughlin said. "Hopefully, we can open this market up and spread the Jeg's Mail Order name into NMCA. Obviously this is a popular series and it's growing all the time so it makes sense for us to be here."
After making his debut in Bowling Green, Coughlin plans on becoming a regular in the series, something that might be bad news for his competitors.
"Right now there is only one event [Cordova] that conflicts with our Pro Mod schedule but I plan to be at all of the others," said Coughlin. "I can run 14 Pro Mod races and seven NMCA events and still be on the road less than I was with the Pro Stock car. That works out just about perfect for me and my family."