O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals
Troy misses the cut
Houston, Saturday: Troy Coughlin started the final day of qualifying looking to break into the field in NHRA's most competitive professional class. He finished the first day of qualifying sitting in the No. 21 spot with a run of 6.794 at 203.95 mph.
In the third qualifying session Coughlin posted a run of 6.795 at 203.58 mph. Coughlin ultimately landed in the No. 22 position by the close of the third session.
"I short shifted the first two gears and it just knocked the wind out of our sails," Coughlin said. "The car made a quick move to the left and by short shifting the gears the car returned quickly to the center of the grove. However, the damage was done early in the run and the car just never recovered."
With his back against the wall Coughlin went into the final session on the outside looking in. The team experienced ignition related problems and was unable to make the run in the final session.
"It is disappointing without a doubt," said Coughlin. "Pro Stock is a game of inches anymore and we fell short. Unexplained things happen in racing everyday. We are going to see where we made errors and address them. It is that simple. We will be making a number of exhibition runs at the Cajun SPORTSnationals next weekend and will use that time to regroup and move forward."
Troy moving in the right direction
Houston, Friday: In the first of four scheduled qualifying sessions Troy Coughlin posted a disappointing run of 7.321 at 153.46 mph. Not the way the 10-year Pro Stock veteran wanted to start the weekend, but the team is committed to being successful.
"We just were not aggressive enough in the first session," said Coughlin. "That's a fairly easy problem to fix and we will use the data from my brothers (Jeg Coughlin) run to get us to where we need to be. The power of a two-car team is more data and we are putting it to better use this weekend."
Coughlin came out swinging in the second qualifying session. The Jeg's Mail Order Chevy Cavalier made a rapid improvement. He ran 6.794 at 203.95 mph. He broke into the quick-16, but was bumped out by the end of the session. Coughlin will focus on improving from the No. 21 qualifying position tomorrow.
"We got more aggressive with our set up and the track was better in the second session," Coughlin said. "My car made a move off of the starting line to the left toward the center line. The car was close to a whole car width over to the right, but it quickly responded when it got the horsepower planted to the track. I think we are headed in the right direction and we look forward to continue improve in the morning."
Troy looks to Houston
Houston, pre-race: Troy Coughlin will enter the fifth race of the 2004 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series looking to get back on track.
"We are looking forward to getting back on track," said Troy. "Our season so far has been a disappointment. However, we are the only one's who can change what happens going forward and we have to do it as a group."
The team knows how important it is to make a strong run right out of the trailer. The sea-level conditions at Houston Raceway Park make Pro Stock one of the most exciting classes to watch.
"We need to get our consistency back," explained Troy. "I know we all want the same thing. Everyone puts in endless hours at the track and at the shop. We intend on turning those hours into win lights."
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