INDIANAPOLIS – Third-generation drag racer Paige Coughlin is making a dramatic step in 2022, trading in the Super Comp dragster she’s been competing in for the last few years for a ’92 ProCharger Chevrolet Camaro. The college-aged daughter of three-time Pro Mod world champion Troy Coughlin will be vying for wins and national prestige on Discovery Channel’s “Street Outlaws No Prep Kings” television program, the latest series in a line of extremely-popular drag-racing-centric reality shows.
“It’s something totally different,” Paige said, “something that looks like a lot of fun, something that’s very competitive, and something no Coughlin family member has ever tried before.
“There were 15 races in 2021 and there may be even more next year. They’ll take place all around the country on drag strips where absolutely no preparation of any kind will be allowed. You’re driving these super high-powered racecars capable of covering the eighth-mile in well under four seconds with basically no traction. It can be really wild.”
Last year’s limited scheduled wiped the Finals off the schedule so this weekend’s race will be something new for Coughlin, the 31-year-old, third-generation driver from the famed Coughlin racing family.
“It’s definitely a huge honor for me to represent my family, JEGS Automotive, and everyone at Elite Motorsports at one of the most historic races and tracks we go to each year,” said Coughlin, the son of three-time world champion Troy Coughlin and grandson of hall-of-fame legend Jeg Coughlin. “Me and the guys are counting down the hours until we can get started.
“The Finals are one of those almost mythical drag races you grow up dreaming about. For a kid from Ohio, the Finals invoked thoughts of sunshine, a really cool So-Cal drag racing vibe, and the history of all the greats that have won there. Plus, it’s nearly always the place where championships are decided.
LAS VEGAS – Although the odds were stacked against him, Pro Stock driver Troy Coughlin Jr. managed pull off the upset of the year against class leader Greg Anderson to help his Elite Motorsports teammate Erica Enders gain big ground in the 2021 championship fight.
Pulling out all the stops to chip away at Anderson’s 92-point advantage over second-ranked Enders, Coughlin strategically placed his JEGS.com Chevrolet Camaro in the 16th and final qualifying position with the sole purpose of trying to topple Anderson, who had qualified on top of the field.
Despite having never beaten Anderson (0-6) in NHRA competition, along with the fact Anderson had won 54 straight first-round matchups against all competitors when starting race day from the No. 1 spot, Coughlin confidently rose to the occasion and pushed the reset button on the Camping World Drag Racing championship chase, beating Anderson on a holeshot by .0012 of a second, or about four inches.
Troy Jr. will be trying his luck in Pro Stock and Super Comp at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, while his uncle Mike is hoping for a successful debut in Top Alcohol Dragster, thereby giving the yellow-and-black attack three chances to score a victory.
“Any time you get a double shot at winning, twice as many chances to hit the Christmas Tree, and a weekend when I get to race with some of my favorite people in the world like my uncle Mike, the guys working on my car, and everyone else at Elite, it’s a perfect scenario for me,” Troy Jr. said. “I just want to race all the time.”
Currently seventh in the Pro Stock championship points in his JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, Troy Jr.’s main goal at this point is to end his first full season in the factory hot rod class with a win at one of the last two national events on the schedule. Las Vegas is the perfect place to pull it off as The Strip was the site of Troy Jr.’s first national event win, which he captured in 2009 in the Super Comp class.
DALLAS – Troy Coughlin Jr. had another spectacular final-four showing Sunday at the Texas NHRA FallNationals, upsetting higher-qualified Pro Stock racers Kyle Koretsky and Rodger Brogdon to reach the semifinals of the season’s third-to-last race.
“We were close,” Coughlin said of his glimpse at reaching the finals. “We stepped on a banana peel about 70 feet down the racetrack and ended up losing traction, and that was the end of it. But I still feel awfully proud of this team and this group of guys.”
That hypothetical banana peel showed up during Coughlin’s semifinal race with points leader Greg Anderson, which had started off with a huge .028 head-start recorded by Coughlin. Had his JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro not lost traction, a strong case could be made that Coughlin would have reached his third final round of the year. Anderson went on to post a beatable 6.666 at 205.51 mph.
DALLAS – The Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex south of Dallas is a race Pro Stock sophomore driver Troy Coughlin Jr. has admired since he was a boy. Returning this weekend as the driver of the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, the third-generation drag racer has Texas-sized dreams he wishes to fulfill.
“We all know everything’s bigger in Texas and it always seemed to me like Billy Meyer’s Texas Motorplex was a big deal ever since it was built,” Coughlin said. “It would be a big honors to go there and win the race, get one of those cowboy hats, and ride outta there on top of the world.”
Meyer, a former Funny Car driver, awards custom-fit cowboy hats to each year’s winners. The hats have become a coveted piece of memorabilia among the quarter-mile crowd. Racers also get a brick with their names etched on them placed in the “Wall of Honor” near the starting line.
ST. LOUIS – The third national event of the six-race Countdown to the Championship takes place this weekend with the 10th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis, and Troy Coughlin Jr., driver of the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, couldn’t be more excited.
“This is my first time in the Countdown and I can tell you that it’s a pretty intense atmosphere at the racetrack these days,” Coughlin said. “Pro Stock has always had the closest racing of any professional category and yet somehow it’s gotten even closer these last few events. It’s pretty insane and exciting, all at the same time.
“It’s fun to be in the thick of things every race and when the competition gets this tight it takes everything up another level. You know everyone is making great horsepower so it comes down to which driver gets off the clutch pedal and through the gears the quickest. Mistakes are magnified and win lights mean 1,000 times more than normal.”