Coughlin claims NHRA Pro Mod championship
Sunday, October 28, 2012

Troy Coughlin won the 2012 NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by ProCare Rx season championship at the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, outlasting challengers Mike Castellana and Rickie Smith to claim the title, his first.

Castellana took the points lead with his nitrous-assisted Al-Anabi Camaro after the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus in Indianapolis and built on that margin at the following two races. He and his team recorded one win, two runner-up finishes, and three No. 1 qualifying positions this season to lead the points entering the season finale.

After two runner-up finishes earlier this season -- in Norwalk and Englishtown -- Coughlin launched himself into title contention on the strength of his first win in the series at the most recent event in St. Louis. Coughlin made the almost-unprecedented decision to retire his popular '68 Chevy Camaro and debuted a sleek turbocharged Corvette at this event and immediately began recording competitive numbers.

Castellana entered the event 41 points ahead of Smith and 42 ahead of Coughlin. All three made it to the second round, where first Smith lost, then Castellana fell in a pivotal race with Coughlin. Coughlin had the chance to steal the title from Castellana with an event win and motored his way past a red-lighting Danny Rowe in the semifinals and Don Walsh in the final to claim the title by just three points over Castellana.

Coughlin, who also has collected event wins in Pro Stock and Super Gas, joins younger brother Jeg Jr. as an NHRA world champion.