Drag Illustrated Issue 178, September / October 2022 - Page 46

Dirt

Western Swing Win Lights

Troy Coughlin Jr . breaks through to get first NHRA Pro Stock victory By Kayla Zadel

NHRA Pro Stock driver Troy Coughlin Jr . finally got his first win at the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle , Washington . It ’ s a win that ’ s been eluding the 32-year-old for a couple of years . A Pro Stock Wally was always just a tick away . However , Coughlin ’ s black and yellow Camaro was running at top performance , plus with a bit of luck , he was on the right side of the finish line during the final leg of the Western Swing .

Coughlin won with a margin of victory of only . 0001-seconds against Elite Motorsports teammate Erica Enders . “ Due to the hard work of
everybody at Elite Motorsports , those guys parked the JEGS . com Chevrolet Camaro right in the checkers ,” Coughlin proudly states .
Coughlin is brutally honest about the struggles he faced before driving to his first Pro Stock win . “ There were dog days ,” he admits . “ There were lots of dog days . There were days that I thought , ‘ Man , is this going to come , or is it a day of bad luck ?’”
It looks like luck was on Coughlin ’ s side , as well as a stout support system of Kyle Bates and Kelley Murphy . “ It ’ s more than a team – it ’ s a family . It ’ s very exciting ,” he says , explaining that his team is what makes Coughlin the best he can be . “ It ’ s very majestic to win for a group like that . It ’ s beyond winning for yourself . There ’ s more to it than wanting to turn on four win lights for your own gratification . It ’ s an absolute blast for the passion they have and for the love they share for
each other and the game of drag racing .”
Coughlin explained that he ’ s not changing much , if anything , as he moves on from his first win . “ I think you approach every race the same ,” he says . “ You stay calm and stay focused .”
That doesn ’ t mean he ’ s not ready to win another race , and quite frankly , there ’ s no “ honeymoon ” phase to his first win . “ You want to win them all and absolutely want to crush them , especially being on Team Yellow ,” Coughlin confesses . “ We call Kelley Murphy ‘ Pit Bull ’ for a reason . He ’ s tough , and we need to turn on win lights to keep our ‘ Pit Bull ’ happy . We want to keep going .”
The NHRA Pro Stock class competition is tough , and Coughlin knows there ’ s no time to give up . “ There ’ s definitely no gimmes in Pro Stock , whether you ’ re making a qualifying run or making a run in the third round . You have to be completely on your game ,” he says .
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID BEITLER
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