No matter how many times a drag racer wins, they seem to have an uncanny ability to remember every minute detail of each conquest. That’s certainly the case with Pro Mod driver Troy Coughlin, who revels in the memories of his 2005 triumph at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
“It was Father’s Day and my dad Jeg Sr., son T.J., and daughter Meghan were here with me, so pulling off that win under those circumstances was pretty darn special,” Coughlin said. “It was also my first win in a Pro Mod car, which added another dimension to the celebration. Overall, it was probably the most satisfying single day of racing I’ve ever had, and I’ll never forget it.”
With a Wally trophy on the line this time through, Coughlin returns to Old Bridge as part of the NHRA Pro Mod Series presented by ProCare Rx, which will be running at this weekend’s 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals.
“Pro Mods haven’t raced in five weeks so I’m sure everyone did the same thing we did, which was go home and get their racecars serviced and ready for the summer months,” Coughlin said. “Although it’s not supposed to be too hot this weekend, we went and tested in Atlanta to get a good baseline tune-up for the summer months. It was really hot there and our car responded well, relative to the conditions.
“Steve (Petty, crew chief) and the guys just about have this JEGS.com Camaro figured out and we think we know what to do with the turbocharger. Englishtown will be a really good chance to find out exactly where we are in relation to everyone else.”
If Coughlin has his way, he’ll create more good memories, like his win on Father’s Day, rather than the forgettable trip he made down the Old Bridge strip in 1997.
“I remember beating Warren Johnson in the first round and I was pumped up,” Coughlin said. “We had George Marnell next and were running a good race when the car turned right on me and went over onto it’s roof. The good news was no one got hurt and I managed to stay away from George, but the car wasn’t as shiny when they flipped it back over.
“We know what to do. We need a good hit in the first qualifying session Friday and then we’ll go from there. We only get three qualifying attempts in Pro Mod so it’s important not to waste any of them. If we want to celebrating again this weekend, we’re going to have to be perfect, just like we were back in 2005. We’re ready.”
Pro Mod qualifying begins with two sessions at 3:15 and 5:30 p.m. Friday, followed by a final qualifying round at 1:45 p.m. Saturday. The first round of eliminations is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. Saturday and will resume with the quarterfinals at 12:15 p.m. Sunday.