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NHRA Pro Mod - Second-round Hiccup Costs Team JEGS Troy Coughlin

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BRISTOL, June 20, 2011: Staging a turbocharged Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series vehicle can be a delicate balancing act, and Team JEGS driver Troy Coughlin was on the unfortunate end of the balance beam during Sunday's second round of the NHRA Ford Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

Coughlin lit the red light on the Christmas Tree, indicating he left the starting line too soon. That handed the victory to series points leader Khalid Balooshi and ended what had been a solid weekend for Coughlin.

Coughlin qualified 13th with his Pontiac and beat Ed Hoover, who was third in Pro Mod points, in the first round.

"We made some good runs this weekend," Coughlin said. "We made great strides. The car kept picking up and picking up. We're utilizing our power a lot better. The team did awesome. I just wish I could've had a little bit better grip on the starting line to make a race out of it. We'll just have to wait to Norwalk."

What happened?

"It's weird," Coughlin said. "It's hard to explain, with throttle positions and boost levels and things like that that you're trying to achieve in a short period. We've had great luck with it, but this is one more thing we can mark on the 'Don't Do' list."

Coughlin has to get his turbo small-block Chevrolet engine in the correct RPM range as he pre-stages, gently letting the clutch out to stage. With everything else going on in a Pro Mod car, it's not an easy process. Get barely out of the RPM range, and problems happen.

"You can get by with it in Pro Stock, in the days when we did that," Coughlin said. "But here, man, you go from power level clear to the next power level, and it's easy to have it get away from you."