Troy Coughlin Jr. earned his Pro Stock license during preseason testing in Bradenton with Elite Motorsports in his uncle Jeg Coughlin Jr.'s Chevy Camaro. He made 21 passes in the car and said he felt at home in the category that has so long been home to the Coughlin family.
It certainly looked natural seeing the latest Coughlin slide into the seat of the naturally aspirated 500-cubic inch machine. The results, which dropped as quick as a 6.53 according to the racer, were promising. He doesn't know when he'll get back into a Pro Stock car but the possibility is strong enough that he will not run Top Alcohol Dragster this season as previously planned. Coughlin ran a full season with the McPhillips family in 2019.
"I want to put all my focus into this right now," said Coughlin. "Right now I'm here to observe and to learn. If they need help with anything, I'll be here to do that. I'll try to come out to as many races as I can and I'll be ready if the opportunity presents itself to drive."
That opportunity may be tied to funding or car and crew availability. Elite Motorsports runs a large fleet between its team cars (Erica Enders / Jeg Coughlin Jr. / Alex Laughlin) and its leasing program. Coughlin will wait patiently for his time to get behind the wheel again, but he talked giddily about his experience in one of the most technical categories in the Mello Yello ranks.
"There's so much going on when you get in there," said Coughlin. "You go through all the procedures of the burnout and then you're shifting so many times, it's awesome. It took me five or six times before I made a run that I was pretty happy with and it's just an incredible feeling. I'm used to having the motor sitting behind me in the Alcohol car, so to have this thing sitting in front of me hitting over 10,000 revolutions is an amazing sound."
His uncle will begin a championship chase in 2020, something Troy is no doubt excited about. Fans can get excited about that, too -- but there's another Coughlin who is patiently waiting for his opportunity.