Image courtesy Team JEG'S
This weekend in Las Vegas marks the season finale for the NHRA Pro Mod Series presented by ProCare Rx. As the most recent winner on the tour, Troy Coughlin is entering the Big “O” Tires NHRA Nationals in third place just 41 points behind the leader Mike Castellana. With a legitimate shot to win the championship, it would be commonplace to keep changes to a minimum for this race. Instead, The JEGS.com driver has made a decision to switch to a brand new race car. While it may seem crazy to most people, the decision to move from the ’68 Camaro to the 2013 Z06 Corvette was easy for Troy.
“The response has been the same across the board,” Coughlin said. “Everyone thinks we’re crazy.”
“My response is pretty simple; I’ve driven both cars and the Corvette is better, period. All you have to do is look at the in-car camera of the old car, the ’68 Camaro, and it’s easy to see it was an accident looking for a place to happen. I learned how to drive it throughout the course of the season, but it was always a handful. This 2013 Z06 Corvette, on the other hand, is the smoothest race car I’ve ever driven. To me, the choice was easy.”
The points battle in the Pro Mod series coming into the final race is very close. Mike Castellana has what would seem to be a comfortable lead of 41 points over second place Rickie Smith, but an early exit by the leader could open the door for others to capitalize. A total of five racers are separated by just three rounds of racing. Depending on where Troy qualifies, he could potentially reduce his deficit from three rounds to two.
“We have a great chance to win the race and an outside chance to win the title,” Coughlin said. “That makes this a really fun weekend no matter how you look at it. Plus, we’re in Vegas, so you’re already having fun before you ever get in the car.
“It would be great to trim Mike’s lead by a few points before eliminations and then get him early and try to take him out. Then it’ll pretty much be a shootout between me and Rickie, with both of us keeping an eye on Walsh and Rowe. There are so many possibilities right now and that’s exciting.”