As he prepares to leave the Pro Stock class at the end of the 2020 season, Jeg Coughlin Jr. has spent a lot of time grooming his nephew, Troy Jr., to be his successor in the factory hot rod class but the five-time champion clearly isn’t yet ready to abdicate his throne. In a historic all-Coughlin final round, Jeg Jr. earned the victory at the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil with a 6.68 after Troy shook the tires and shut-off. It was Coughlin’s 65th Pro Stock victory in his 114th final round. All told, Coughlin has 84 victories, tying him with Tony Schumacher for eighth-place on NHRA’s all-time wins list.
"This is huge. Without question. Troy Jr. has been a student of this spot since he was a kid and I've loved having him come with us week in and week out whether we're pro racing or bracket racing he was always a study," said Coughlin. "I knew I'd have my hands full with him in the final without question. He's been knocking the Tree over and we've been pretty good in old yeller behind us here. What a weekend."
Jeg Jr. opened the season with a win in Pomona and also drove to the final round of the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernaitonals last month in Indy. Driving his Elite Motorsports-powered Camaro, Coughlin came from the No. 3 qualifying spot to post victories against Val Smeland, Alex Laughlin, and longtime rival Greg Anderson. In that round, Coughlin drove to a 6.73 for the win after Anderson shook the tires and shut off in his Summit Camaro. Coughlin entered the latest Indy event as the points leader in Pro Stock and extended his advantage as he pursues a sixth Pro Stock title seventh overall.
Although Troy Jr. was appearing in just his second Pro Stock event, his drive to the final round should have surprised few people. Already a winner in Top Alcohol Dragster, Super Comp, and Super Gas, the third-generation racer has quickly adapted to Pro Stock, often regarded as the some of the most difficult and challenging cars to drive in all of drag racing. Driving the Elite team’s Chevy-powered Mustang, Troy Jr. entered the field as the No. 13 qualifier and downed fellow rookie Kyle Koretsky in round one and the upset Erica Enders in the quarterfinals when the three-time world champion fouled by .004-second. Troy Jr. completed the all-Coughlin final round with a victory over Jason Line, who shook the tires and shut off.