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Troy Coughlin Jr. Picks Up Much Needed Win in Epping

Troy Coughlin Jr. picked up his first Pro Stock win of 2024 at this weekend's NHRA New England Nationals

Troy Coughlin Jr. celebrates his first Pro Stock win of 2024 at the NHRA New England Nationals on Sunday. (Photo: Allen Saucier | The Podium Finish)

EPPING, N.H. – Troy Coughlin had a very good, yet quiet weekend going entering Sunday’s Pro Stock eliminations. On Sunday afternoon, he got very loud.

After qualifying No. 2 in the class, Coughlin beat teammate and reigning Pro Stock champion Erica Enders on a hole shot to pick up his first Wally of the season at the NHRA New England Nationals.

The win was his first of the season and fifth of his Pro Stock career.

Despite his strong showing on Friday and Saturday, there was not much chatter about Coughlin’s chances on race day. Coughlin said that he did not mind being an underdog. In fact, he did not think much about it at all.

“I didn’t really think of that,” he said. “(Being an underdog is) a fun little additive, but I just try to come here every day and hit the tree and bang gears and do my job as an Elite Motorsports driver. If I can just do a nice job driving and provide good feedback to the crew chiefs, we’re going to go rounds and come out on top in races that we should win.”

Coughlin said that he never takes winning for granted because he knows how difficult it is, especially in the highly competitive Pro Stock class.

“I want to win,” he said. “I’ve watched my uncles, my father, everybody, race in the final round of a national event. There’s nothing like it. It’s such a cool stage. You want to win, and it’s so emotional. There’s nothing like winning.”

Coughlin Runs the Pro Stock Gauntlet to Victory

Coughlin and his team were firing on all cylinders on Sunday. He got past Brandon Miller, a local driver who was competing in his first career Pro Stock race in Round One, but after that, he had to go through some of the best drivers in the class to pick up his fifth career Pro Stock Wally.

In the second round, Coughlin took on Chicago runner-up Aaron Stanfield, and he picked up a hole shot victory, running a 6.590 to Stanfield’s 6.584. Coughlin left the starting line .01 seconds quicker to make up the narrow win. In the semifinals, Coughlin squared off with most recent Pro Stock winner Dallas Glenn, and his 6.610 second pass was enough to outduel Glenn’s 6.633.

There was no chance to breathe for Coughlin in the finals, as he faced teammate and points leader Enders. Once again Coughlin’s starting line prowess came into play as he parlayed a .025 starting line advantage into a race win, despite running 6.584 to Enders’ 6.563.

After the race, Coughlin said that he worries more about racing himself than who is in the other lane.

“You’re essentially racing yourself, but you do need to be your very best against – essentially everybody – because everybody is extremely talented,” he said. “But Erica is fast. She hits the tree well.”

When you start focusing on the competition, Coughlin said, you can lose focus on what you have to do.

“Sometimes when (thinking about the level of the competition) does creep in, it slows you down,” he said. “It’s kind of situational. It just depends on your mood. If you’re down, you have to pep yourself up. If you’re over-pepped, you’ve got to learn how to calm yourself down.”

Troy Coughlin Jr won the Pro Stock race at this weekend's NHRA New England Nationals.

Troy Coughlin Jr. picked up the Pro Stock win at the NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, N.H., on Sunday. (Photo: Allen Saucier | The Podium Finish)

Epping Win Reignites Coughlin’s Championship Hopes

Prior to Epping, 2024 had been a bit of a struggle for Coughlin, but Sunday’s win gave him and his team a shot in the arm.

“It puts us back in relevant discussion as far as points go,” he said. “It moves us up a little bit. It lifts your spirits up a little bit and boosts your confidence up.”

The turnaround will not be complete, however, without turning the success in Epping into some momentum. Coughlin said that patience is the key to continued success.

“You have to take it one race at a time, one lap at a time,” he said. “To win a championship in Pro Stock is intense. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of mental work. If I were to stop racing today, just knowing that I chased this is cool. Because it’s that challenging.”

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