The retirement of three-time and reigning NHRA Pro Modified champion Troy Coughlin lasted all of six months, give or take a few days.
The second-generation racer, who won NHRA titles in 2012, 2015, and 2017, announced this week his return to the category beginning with the NHRA Virginia Nationals. Coughlin will pilot a Pro Line Racing-prepared 1967 Ford Mustang that fellow class-mate Jose Gonzalez drove to the PDRA Pro Boost title and national record a season ago.
“The allure of the class was just too big to ignore,” said Troy. ”I’ve been coming to the races to watch and help my kids race and, of course, I’ve been up there watching the Pro Mod cars when they run. I realized I was already missing the competition and the camaraderie among the racers.
“Steve Petty (crew chief) and the guys are still behind me 100 percent. Eric Dillard and everyone at Pro Line are involved. Aside from the car, all the same pieces are in place and we haven’t been out long enough that I’m worried about my driving. We’ve won three titles and 12 races in the last decade so we pretty much know what to expect. We’ll be ready to have some fun for sure.”
Coughlin marked his return with a clean 5.916-second, 248.84 mph lap in the opening session of qualifying at the Virginia Motorsports Park in the JEGS.com machine.
While he missed the first four events of the 2018 campaign, Coughlin is presently entered at the next eight events in the 12-race series to close the season. Coughlin ha 15 career NHRA Pro mod victories in 22 final rounds. He also owns two national event victories in Pro Stock and one in Super Gas.