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With one bold stroke, Troy Coughlin is going from an underdog to potentially one of the top dogs in the NHRA's Pro Mod series.

Coughlin, who finished 12th in the 2011 Pro Mod standings, raced most of the season with a small block engine GTO that captivated the imagination of a lot of hard-core fans, but didn't win too many rounds on the track.

"That was a fun little car to drive but it just didn't have to power to keep up with the rest of the field in Pro Mod," Coughlin said. "I needed a different car to stay competitive in that series."

At the tail end of the season Coughlin unveiled a new turbocharged JEGS.com Chevy Camaro, and this year one of the best turbo tuners in the business, Steve Petty, will be calling the shots.

"We didn't get that much of a chance to totally figure out the new car before the end of the season," Coughlin said. "But with a guy like Steve in our corner now, I feel confident we'll hit the ground running in 2012.

"We'll test a lot this off-season and get totally up to speed before we race. And when you get up to Steve Petty speed, you're on top of the world."

Petty-tuned turbo machines won four of the last five Pro Mod series races in 2011, and Coughlin said he's elated to have that kind of racing resume in his corner.

"I've been friends with Steve for awhile but we'd never had a chance to work together," Coughlin said. "We've made the commitment to run the turbo Camaro for the foreseeable future, and there's no one better than Steve with a turbo car."

At the very least, Coughlin wants to add a few more Pro Mod Wallys to his list of career accomplishments, which includes multiple victories in NHRA Pro Stock competition, membership in the Holley Six-Second Pro Stock Club and Speed Pro 200-mph Club, a trophy run at the exclusive $50,000 Winston Showdown, various sportsman-level wins, a memorable weekend at the $50,000 Big Dog Shootout, and his NMCA Pro Street world title in 2009.

 


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