Troy Coughlin, already securely situated within the top 10 of the Pro Mod world rankings, could jump all the way into the top five with a solid showing at this weekend’s 14th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
Coughlin is certainly excited about the chance to move up … optimistic, too.
“We have all the parts, pieces, and personnel,” Coughlin told the team’s official website. “We just tested at Bristol last week, and the car was running strong enough that we should be able to return this weekend and turn on some win lights.
“We have the best tuner in the business, Steve Petty, and everyone knows he’ll get this thing figured out. We are close enough now that we should start seeing competitive numbers right away. That’s why we’re excited for Bristol, not to mention the fact it’s such a beautiful racetrack.”
Coughlin’s advanced past the first round just twice this season, but knows every race gives him and his crew an opportunity to turn things around.
“This car can run,” he said. “Everyone on this team knows how to win and how to put us in position to contend for championships. Once you’ve been on top of the hill, anything else just doesn’t measure up. We’re kind of racing with an attitude now.
“We’ve seen many times in the past where a win just totally changes everything. It’s such a moral booster. It gets the monkey off your back, so to speak, and it allows everyone to relax and do what they do without any undue pressure. That’s what we’re focusing on now, getting that next trophy. We feel like we’ve earned our chance.”
Coughlin will be joined in Bristol by his son Troy Coughlin Jr. The younger Coughlin will be racing in both Super Gas and Super Comp.
“T.J.’s doing great,” Coughlin said. “He was runner-up last weekend in Super Gas and went several rounds in Super Comp, so he’s right in the mix.
“It’s always fun racing with him, kind of like when my brothers and I all raced with my dad back in the day. My brother Jeg also is racing in Pro Stock in Bristol, so we’ll have lots of fun, I’m sure.”
Pro Mod qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4:30 and 6:45 p.m., today, and 2 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations begin at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, and will resume at 1:15 p.m., Sunday.
Teamjegs.com contributed to this report.