Earlier this week we reported on young T.J. Coughlin’s move to the NHRA Pro Modified category from the sportsman ranks this season, where he’ll join his accomplished father, Troy, in the sport’s quickest and fastest full bodied eliminator at the helm of the family’s familiar JEGS C6 Corvette. Well that news, as many have learned via social media this week, was made possible by Troy’s switch to a brand new C7 Corvette, which was unveiled to the public this week during a test session at the South Georgia Motorsports Park leading up to this weekend’s NHRA Gatornationals (the opening event of the 10-race J&A Service Pro Modified schedule).
Coughlin’s swoopy new C7 ‘Vette is among the first such cars to be built, constructed at Jerry Bickel Race Cars and featuring power from Pro Line Racing Engines, with the tuning chores still to be handled by the one and only Steve Petty.
“The new car, it’s looking good. It’s a neat piece, almost like a piece of art,” says Coughlin.” We’ve only made about three or four licks on it, but it shows good progress. We need to get it to the finish line.”
In addition to Petty, both of the JEG’s Corvettes will continued to be crewed by Justin Beaver, Kyle Pettis and Mike Rees.
“Bickel has built lots of racecars, and Steve has tuned a ton of racecars. I expect we’ll move to Gainesville pretty strong,” Coughlin said. “We took the last R2B2 Corvette to Las Vegas a couple years ago after a couple days of testing, and we had real good success then.
“I believe we can do that same thing. We’re capable, the car’s capable, and now we just need the cards to fall into the right spot.”
Through the first two days of testing, Coughlin had the second quickest lap overall at South Georgia with a 5.932-second, 248.11 mph pass. T.J. for his part, put down a stellar 5.96 last week.