BROWNSBURG, Ind. — Troy Coughlin raced to the qualifying lead Friday in the Pro Mod Series portion of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s most prestigious drag race.
Coughlin led the 34 cars attempting to qualify for one of 16 spots available for Sunday’s first round of eliminations with a performance of 5.945 seconds at 248.75 mph in his turbocharged JEGS.com Corvette.
“We’ve been testing a lot, and it’s been running pretty good,” Coughlin said. “Steve (Petty, crew chief) is just a mastermind at what he’s doing. As long as we don’t make any mistakes, man, it’ll run pretty good.”
After a relatively slow start to the season, the 2012 world champ won the most recent event in Norwalk, Ohio and is continuing his surge at this event.
“It’s been a pretty good day,” Coughlin said. “Jeggie’s (brother, Pro Stock driver) qualified in the middle of the pack, we ended up No. 1 and (son) T.J.’s won in Super Comp and Super Gas first round. Pretty good day for JEGS.com.”
Steven Whiteley was second with a 5.955 at 243.77 in his J&A Service/YNOT Racing ’68 Camaro, while former world champion Von Smith qualified third with a 5.955 at 241.97 in his Al-Anabi Racing ’69 Camaro.
Defending world champion and current points leader Rickie Smith qualified fourth in his nitrous-injected IDG Chevy Camaro with a performance of 5.985 at 243.68.
Defending U.S. Nationals Pro Mod winner Mike Janis, currently second in points, is outside the top 16 after the first session. The New York native sits 18th with a 6.166 at 239.82 in his Jan-Cen Racing late-model Camaro.