TOPEKA, Kan. (May 20) -- Two-time Pro Mod champion Troy Coughlin posted his quickest pass of the weekend in the opening round of the 29th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties, but the pass wasn't enough to turn on his win light in the always-tough J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.

"I said earlier in the year that I was super happy we added two races to the Pro Mod schedule this year because it would afford us a little bit of breathing room," Coughlin said. "When you're racing at this level you can run really well and still lose. That's what happened today, so I'm glad we have extra time to make up for this loss.

"Wow, it's tough out there. My hat's off to everyone in the class because people have really stepped it up this year. Cars are so much faster and the margin for error is pretty much
non-existent."

After losing a round of qualifying to Friday's rain, Coughlin and his JEGS.com Chevrolet Corvette race crew had to play it fairly safe in Saturday's lone remaining time trial. Crew chief Steve Petty coaxed a 5.836-second pass at 255.92 mph out of the twin-turbo motor, with Coughlin doing a good job of keeping the C7 in the groove.

That set-up a first-round elimination match with Sidnei Frigo, who had qualified nine spots higher with a best pass of 5.759 at 256.31 mph. However, despite Frigo's seemingly large advantage, Coughlin had him covered in their head-to-head race, running a quicker 5.764 at 257.58 mph to Frigo's 5.773 at 254.71 mph.

The difference came at the starting line, with Frigo leaving just enough ahead of the 2012 and 2015 world champ to take the win by .025 seconds.

"Good for him," Coughlin said. "He caught me. I felt really good up there and I have complete trust in Steve when he tells me we have enough horsepower to beat him. I just got beat off the tree. That's the way it goes some times.

"We do have enough space to miss a chance like this and still be there at the end of the season but maybe my cushion...
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 16) -- Two-time Pro Mod world champion saw his incredible qualifying streak of 34 consecutive races dating back to the fall of 2013 come to an end two weeks ago at the NHRA tour's last stop in Atlanta. His response? "It's time to start another one," a quest which begins this weekend with the 29th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties.

"Atlanta was a reminder that when you're racing in the NHRA against the top teams in the world, you have to be as close to perfect as you can every time up there," Coughlin said. "There are no second chances, no provisional positions for past champions, nothing like that. Everyone enters every race on equal footing.

"There's nothing wrong with the JEGS.comCorvette. The guys haven't forgotten how to set up the car. We just got behind the curve a little and didn't perform to our abilities, including what I did behind the wheel. I'm extremely confident we will rebound in a big way this weekend at Heartland Park."

Coughlin's class-leading qualifying streak was a big part of his JEGS.com team winning championships in 2012 and 2015 and finishing in second place in 2013, 2014 and 2016 in the J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. He therefore knows it is crucial to get back in top form as quickly as possible.

"Our crew chief, Steve Petty, constantly preaches consistency as being a big key to winning championships," Coughlin said. "That strategy has definitely worked for us the last five years. So, as I said, there's no reason to change anything we're doing.

"The facts are, Pro Mod has become the toughest category in NHRA. We have tons of cars showing up to every race and just about every team is capable of winning rounds and winning races. I love it because battling like this makes the victories so much more rewarding. I'm blown away by the growth of our class. I'm very proud of all of us."

Topeka would seem to be a great place to get back on top as Coughlin won at Heartland Park Topeka in...
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 6) -- For the first time in a long time, Troy Coughlin Jr. did not qualify for elimination action in the J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. The DNQ snaps a streak of 36 consecutive national events dating back to the fall of 2013 in which Coughlin had successfully made the cut.

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"They say we put together the biggest span of any of the Pro Mod cars to qualify for every single race so that's a very big accomplishment and I'm very proud of it," Coughlin said. "We just got behind the eight-ball a little bit on the first pass and really didn't recovery quite as quickly as we should have."

Running between rain showers, Coughlin started the 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals on Friday with a shut-off pass. Saturday opened with a pedaling 6.101 at 248.07 mph, which ended up being his best of the weekend. His final attempt ended after his JEGS.com Corvette C7 made a sharp move to the right, forcing him to pull the parachutes and drift to a 9.274 at 76.32 mph.

The bump spot for the 16-car field ended up being Kevin Rivenbark's 5.881 at 242.54 mph. Coughlin officially finished 24th out of 28 entries.

"This is definitely a five-star team," Coughlin said. "There are so many things that are right and work well with this group so I'm looking forward to getting to the next race to start another long streak. That's all we can do, put it back all in line; adjust and put it back in line. We'll be looking good in Topeka, for sure."

Prior to this event, Coughlin was ranked second in the championship points.

Up next for Coughlin and crew is the 29th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties, which runs May 19-21 at...
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 3) -- Fresh off a super successful weekend in Charlotte where he qualified at the top of the Pro Mod field and raced to a runner-up result on race day, two-time world champion Troy Coughlin is chomping at the bit to get his twin-turbo JEGS.com Chevrolet Corvette C7 back on track. He won't have to wait long as the 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals begin Fridayat Atlanta Dragway.

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Troy with father, Jeg Coughlin Sr.

"It's hard to believe but Atlanta marks the fourth race of the year for the J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series," Coughlin said. "We are definitely having some fun. This year the NHRA added two races to the schedule so instead of 10 races, we now have 12, but even so it seems like they are flying by.
"We're really pleased with our start, especially as we continue to try and catch up with the supercharged and nitrous cars. The offseason rule changes for those cars certainly helped them out and since turbo cars were left the same, we've had some extra work to do. Last weekend let us know we're getting a little closer."

Coughlin's runner-up finish at zMax Dragway lifted him to second place in the championship points, just 63 points behind Mike Castellana, who edged Coughlin in the Charlotte final.

"We are hoping for heat and humidity," Coughlin said. "It was a steamy weekend in Charlotte and for whatever reason it seemed to level the playing field for the turbo cars so bring on the heat. We run a lot of races in the summertime so if we tend to run better in the heat in relation to the supercharged and nitrous guys, then I'll gladly suffer.

"Steve Petty, Mike Rees and Kyle Pettis, my crew guys, they are the...
CONCORD, N.C. (April 30) -- Troy Coughlin raced his twin-turbocharged JEGS.com Chevrolet Corvette C7 to a runner-up finish at the first-ever four-wide Pro Mod race in NHRA history Sunday at zMax Dragway.

With the J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by JEGS and Plugfones running alongside the Mello Yello Series at the eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Coughlin and the rest of the Pro Mod class represented themselves well, with Mike Castellana edging Coughlin for the win in the final foursome of the day.

The scoreboard numbers showed Castellana crossing the finish line first with a 5.807 at 249.35 mph to Coughlin's 5.849 at 238.55 mph. Jonathan Gray was third with a 5.826 at 250.27 mph, while a red-light start left Michael Biehle in fourth.

"That was a pretty exciting final round," Coughlin said, "and a perfect grouping to represent the Pro Mod class. We had a supercharged car, two turbocharged cars and a nitrous car. That's pretty cool.

"Having lane choice going into the final round, I thought we were for sure gonna get the win today but Mike had a little too much there. We definitely gave it our all."

Coughlin was strong all day, running a 5.848 at 252.99 mph to advance out of his first-round quad ahead of Khalid alBalooshi (5.863 at 249.26 mph) and Steve Matusek, (5.852 at 249.63 mph). Sidnei Frigo also advanced out of the grouping.

In the semifinals, Coughlin was quickest of both foursomes, blasting to a 5.800 at 254.57 mph to help eliminate Frigo (6.099 at 245.27 mph) and Steven Whiteley (7.503 at 144.86 mph). Gray advanced to the final alongside Coughlin with a 5.841 at 249.39 mph.

"The whole JEGS.com team, Steve Petty, Mike Rees, Kyle Pettis, what a great group. We came into this race with a car had been giving us problems over the last couple of weeks and thanks to the crew's hard work we were able to absolutely shine at the first Four-Wide Nationals for our class. That's pretty awesome."

Coughlin only has a few days to enjoy his...
CONCORD, N.C. (April 28) -- Aside from the obvious -- that he posted the quickest elapsed time in the Pro Mod class Friday at the eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals -- Troy Coughlin isn't quite sure how he ended up on top of the timing sheets at the midway point of professional qualifying, but he's not complaining one bit.

"We'll take it," Coughlin said. "I don't know how this happened because we ran almost the exact same numbers as we did in Houston last weekend under pretty similar weather conditions and all the supercharger guys that were way ahead of us in Texas have all dropped off quite a bit. It seems odd, but hey, we're No. 1 for now.

"It's exciting because this is the first four-wide race ever for the J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series and, at least for now, we're No. 1, so I'm happy for the guys and everyone back at JEGS in Ohio. It's a great day."

Racing his twin-turbo JEGS.com Chevrolet Corvette C7, Coughlin found himself in the No. 2 spot on the qualifying ladder after an opening-round pass of 5.834 at 253.04 mph. Things picked up considerably in the slightly cooler evening session and crew chief Steve Petty took full advantage of the conditions, posting a much improved 5.770 at 254.95 mph to earn Coughlin the top slot.

"The first run up there today there definitely were some jitters," Coughlin said, referring to his first-ever four-wide pass. "I was thinking, 'Hurry up and stage so you don't get counted out.' I was moving really quick through my prerace procedure to kind of learn a new rhythm for this type of racing. Ultimately, I had plenty of time but I wanted to be sure we didn't miss a pass.

"There's certainly a lot going on. You see all these cars pulling up behind each lane and there is twice as much noise and twice as many burnouts. It was a lot to take in, but it was really exciting at the same time. I was buzzing.

"The car's great. In Q1 it went nice and straight. It was a smooth run all the way around. I was actually...
HOUSTON (April 23) -- Feeling he needed something special to beat second-round opponent Jonathan Gray, who runs a supercharged Pro Mod racecar, Troy Coughlin and his JEGS.com race crew pushed the performance envelope a little too far Sunday and lost traction, eventually losing by a wide margin in the second round of the 30th annual NHRA Spring Nationals.

This past offseason, NHRA officials changed the rules for supercharged and nitrous-assisted Pro Mod cars, instantly making all of the cars using both types of power-adders quicker and faster. Unfortunately for Coughlin, nothing changed for the turbo-charged cars like the Corvette he drives.

"We got a little too aggressive with it because we kind of felt like we had to," Coughlin said. "The rule changes have left the turbo-charged cars behind. We're trying extra hard to get after it and we went too far today. We just need to get a little more consistent with our tune-up, I guess.

"Getting the NHRA to look at the changes they made will probably never happen because the guys paying for and running this series all run super-charged cars. It doesn't seem right but that's how I feel about it.

After running a 5.789 at 251.77 mph in a Saturday night defeat of Khalid alBalooshi in Round 1, Coughlin couldn't match that efficiency in Sunday's hotter conditions. Not long after letting out the clutch, his powerful racecar started swaying back and forth, forcing him to shutoff and coast down the strip. Gray, meanwhile, zipped to a 5.801 at 250.04 mph.

Fortunately for Coughlin, he won't have long to contemplate what could have been in Texas as the tour quickly moves to Charlotte for next weekend's eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at
zMax Dragway.

"It's going to be really cool to have Pro Mods as part of the big show there in Charlotte," Coughlin said. "It'll be the first time we race four-wide and I think it's going to be really cool. They're giving us four qualifying sessions, instead of the usual three, and we'll...
HOUSTON (April 22) -- JEGS.com Pro Mod racer Troy Coughlin used his best pass of the weekend to rack-up an impressive first-round victory Saturday evening at the 30th annual NHRA Spring Nationals. Racing in the J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, Coughlin screamed to a 5.789 at 251.77 mph to erase Khalid alBalooshi's shutoff 10.699 at 82.60 mph.

"I'll tell you what; Steve Petty, Mike Rees and Kyle Pettis are doing a great job on this racecar," Coughlin said. "We're trying some things to get us on the fast side of the fence because the supercharged and nitrous cars are so fast right now. They've been given some big advantages with weight reductions and another five to six percent more horsepower the NHRA gave them over
the winter.

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"We're digging deep. We have to try and stay close to those guys. For sure, we're going to fight to the end every round and every race. I'm seriously proud of our JEGS.com team for getting this thing to the second round. At this point in time we've made some pretty solid runs, including that one just now, so we're pretty excited about that."

Coughlin qualified his JEGS.com C7 Corvette in the No. 7 position with a best pass of 5.820 at 253.90 mph. The run came Friday evening without direct sunlight on the racing surface. Conditions were even better in Round 1 when he beat alBalooshi an hour or so after a cooling trend arrived in the Houston area.

"We've raced in these conditions before and I know Steve likes it cooler so he can take these Pro Line engines and get them tuned up," Coughlin said. "They're fast, without a doubt, and they run better when it's a little cooler. We're going to have a fast hot rod tomorrow in the cooler...
At the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., Annie and Steven Whiteley became the first mother and son in NHRA history to double up at a national event, Annie scoring for the fourth time in her Top Alcohol Funny Car career and Steven for the first time ever in Pro Mod.

Team leader Jim Whiteley termed the landmark double-up for his wife and son nothing less than the highlight of his illustrious career. "This means more than any race I ever won," said Jim, who won 24 national events, 24 divisionals races, and two NHRA championships in Top Alcohol Dragster. "If none of us ever wins again, this weekend makes my whole drag racing career worthwhile."

Both started from the No. 5 spot – Annie with a 5.45 and Steven with a 5.80 that topped the early qualifying charts – and both made the fastest runs of their lives in the final. Annie hit 273.22 mph on a single when two-time Gatornationals winner Dan Pomponio was unable to appear. Steven hit 253.52 mph in a career-best 5.791 seconds to train-length runner-up Mike Castellana, whose Frank Manzo-tuned entry blew the tires off in low gear in the Pro Mod finale.

"It's just an unbelievable feeling," said Steven, who ran the Pro Mod final in the very next pair after his mom scored in TAFC. "When she won, it really sent the pressure on me through the roof. I thought, 'Now, I have to win this thing.' "

Annie faced a different kind of pressure. "It's weird being on a single in the final," she said. "You think of the ignition quitting or some dumb little thing breaking. What happens then? Does nobody win? I didn't really know. I made sure the Tree was definitely on, left, and it was just a perfect run." Her 5.41 was the second-quickest run of her career, behind only the low e.t. 5.40 she ran in the semifinals against No. 1 qualifier and defending Gainesville champ John Lombardo, and her speed topped the 273.05 she ran in the semi's.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19) -- Two-time Pro Mod world champion Troy Coughlin was in the other lane when Eric Latino posted the quickest run in class history -- a stunning 5.727 at 256.36 mph -- but the driver of the JEGS.com turbocharged Corvette didn't get to witness the impressive pass because he was too far ahead of his opponent, winning Sunday's quarterfinal match-up on a massive .081-second holeshot.

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In fact, Coughlin's 5.758 at 255.10 mph, when combined with Latino's national-record pass, made the race the quickest side-by-side affair in Pro Mod drag racing history.

"It's pretty awesome to be a part of it," Coughlin said. "I bet NHRA was saying the same thing. To be a part of history here in drag racing, I mean this is the first time for me. We've had great success with two championships and three runner-up championships but to be a part of a noteworthy race like that, it's huge news. It's great for the class and certainly shows there's a lot of parity. For JEGS.com and everyone back at JEGS headquarters, we're thrilled to have this neat little piece of history.

"Everyone was saying that Latino's first-round run (of 5.779 at 256.45 mph Saturday night) was a fluke, but I knew it wasn't. He's a good driver and Al Billes is probably the best supercharger guy out there so they are a five-star team for sure.

"When I heard he went 5.72 at 256 mph against us the only thing I could imagine was the expression on all the NHRA official's faces when they saw another car go more than 256 mph. It was a super-charged car but still, I couldn't be more excited for them."

Unfortunately for Coughlin, his car got a little squirrelly in the semifinals and he couldn't...