With new crew chief's help, Coughlin bracing for career-best season
The NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Series season may not start until March, but that doesn't mean things aren't buzzing around Troy Coughlin's JEGS.com turbo Chevy Camaro.
"It takes a lot of hard work to get ready for the season but you find motivation in the fact every other racer on tour is likely working just as hard as we are," Coughlin said. "We've got some new faces in new places, but the transition is going smoothly and we're all very excited about the upcoming season."
The most notably change in the yellow and black's new attack is crew chief Steve Petty, whom Coughlin says knows a thing or two about making a turbo motor sing.
"There's very few people better with a turbo engine than Steve," said Coughlin, a past world champion in Pro Street. "There's a reason he won four of the last five races. He's good. But even Steve needs some time to become acquainted with this particular racecar. Every car and engine is a little different. So Steve needs some time to get to know the equipment we've got and then let his talent take over.
Crewmen Bryan Metzenheim, Mike Rees and Nick Gaylord return to assist Petty, while Coughlin's 2011 crew chief, Jake Hairston, moved to a new role at JNR Racing Engines in Mooresville, N.C. JNR Racing Engines is under the JEGS umbrella.
"Jake is too talented to not keep within the JEGS.com Racing fold," Coughlin said. "He's going to be a big asset down there at JNR engines. I think he'll fit in well with Nick Ferri and Roy Simmons. They are all very similar in talent and desire."
Coughlin said the first test of his still-new Pro Mod car will come with the team heads south for testing some time in the next month.
"I can't think of a time when I've been more excited about preseason testing," Coughlin said. "Steve is going to put a fast car under me and I know we have the potential to be running some personal-best numbers right out of the trailer. I have a feeling that with this group of guys and the performance package we’ll be running, we're going to be a tough out this season."
The Pro Mod series kicks off its 2012 season at the March 8-11 Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
"It would really be something to get a win in Florida because Dad's (Jeg Coughlin Sr.) birthday is the same week as the race," Coughlin said. "Two of my nieces, Kennedi and McKenna also have birthdays around that time so it would be pretty neat to get that trophy for them. We make some serious Oreo cookie bets at the weekly family dinner about who is going to win first so I need to be on my game."