A semifinal finish in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series race presented by Precision Turbo and Engine on Sunday at Gateway Motorsports Park helped JEGS.com driver Troy Coughlin Sr. close in on the series points lead.
With one race remaining, Coughlin is second in the standings, 28 points behind leader Mike Janis. While he went out in the semis, he gained a round on Janis, who lost in the second round of the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals.
Plus, third-place Bob Rahaim also lost in the semis.
“We’ve picked up one round,” Coughlin said. “We’re definitely going in the right direction. We picked up an extra round, and Rahaim just got beat this round, too. So it’s going to be the same three guys fighting toward the end. We’ve got to send a hitman after Janis because his car is fast, and somebody’s got to get him stopped. Hopefully, it’s us in the first round in Vegas.”
After winning in the first round Saturday night, Coughlin beat Chip King in the second round Sunday on a holeshot. His .038-second reaction time and pass of 5.931 seconds at 251.95 mph was enough to beat King’s .077 light and 5.923-second run at 242.10 mph.
In the semis, Mike Knowles outran him with a 5.888-second pass at 241.28 mph, while Coughlin slowed a tick with a run of 5.911 seconds at 250.32 mph.
“The car was running pretty good,” Coughlin said. “We had a decent second round today, but here in the semifinals, it slowed down a little bit. The guys are out there thrashing, trying to get the JEGS.com car back up to speed. They’ll find it.”
One thing the JEGS.com crew of crew chief Steve Petty, Justin Beaver, Brandon Stroud, Kyle Pettis and Mike Rees did well was keep the Corvette intact.
“It was nice to go past (NHRA senior vice president of race operations) Graham Light every time I saw him and say, ‘No oil,’” Coughlin said. “He’d smile and wave and say, ‘That’s right.’ That was kinda cool. We’d like to stay on Graham’s good side.”
While Coughlin remains in the thick of the Pro Mod points race, son Troy Coughlin Jr. is about to close a solid rookie season in the class. He’s sixth in the points standings, racing to three semifinal finishes in 2015.
The JEGS.com team will test at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway later this month in preparation for the Pro Mod season finale.
Teamjegs.com contributed to this report.