Season race #9 for NHRA’s J&A Service Pro Mod circuit produced an important win for it’s defending series champion…

The final round of the NHRA J&A Service NHRA Pro Mod Series race presented by Precision Turbo & Engine at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park was a race for the ages.

In the left lane was two-time Pro Mod champion Troy Coughlin Sr. in his JEGS.com Corvette while two-time champ Rickie Smith raced in the right lane.

Defending NHRA Pro Mod World Champ Troy Coughlin won at the St. Louis event.

Defending NHRA Pro Mod World Champ Troy Coughlin won at the St. Louis event.

This time, the win light came on in Coughlin’s lane, giving him his second Pro Mod victory of the season and eighth of his career.
“You’re racing a legend, you’re racing a champion, you’re racing a tough, hardcore racer that drives the truck, tunes his race car — he does it all,” Coughlin said. “Some people say that we are rivals. It’s pretty cool to be on that same level. Rickie’s tough.

“This round, I knew that we had a pretty fast car, and I knew if we could just leave with them, I think we should be in pretty good shape, and we left a little ahead of them. (Crew chief) Steve (Petty), Mike (Rees), and Kyle (Pettis) had this thing tuned up and ran a 5.80, which is faster than we ran in the semi’s when we ran an .83, so that’s pretty neat. It’s fun going into the last race on a wave and nipping at his heels as we say.”

Troy Coughlin's win was the 8th of his Pro Mod class career

Troy Coughlin’s win was the 8th of his Pro Mod class career

Coughlin was talking about the Pro Mod championship battle, which will go down to the final race of the season, in Las Vegas, between — who else — Smith and Coughlin. Smith holds a sizable lead and simply needs to qualify for the Vegas race to win the title, but Coughlin is ready to pounce.

Coughlin won the St. Louis race from the No. 15 qualifying spot, getting into the field in the final qualifying session. He then beat Bob Rahaim in the first round Saturday night before taking out Steve Matusek and Khalid alBalooshi to reach the final against Smith.

There, Coughlin left first with a .022-second reaction time (to Smith’s .036) and then made a pass of 5.802 seconds at 253.85 mph that was quicker than Smith’s 5.830-second run at 250.09 mph to complete the 15th-to-first odyssey.

“It just shows how competitive the Pro Mod class is here in the NHRA,” Coughlin said. “We qualified 15th and made some decent runs, but it’s real exciting, especially coming from the 15th spot. We came back, ran fast, and won.

“The cars are running consistent. The guys down at Pro Line building us the engines are doing an excellent job. Steve tuning this thing, Mike and Kyle, what can I say about those guys? All the people at JEGS.com, Traxxas, and Mac Tools, it’s badass. We are nipping at Rickie’s heels.”

Troy’s final round time was in fact low ET of the meet. Michael Biehle, for the second event in a row set top speed of the race this time at 254.76 mph racing his Ford Mustang.

29 cars made qualifying attempts for the event and they produced a super swift 16-car bump spot at 5.941 secs.

For the 2nd event in a row - Michael Biehe's turbocharged Mustang was the fastest Pro Mod car.

For the 2nd event in a row – Michael Biehe’s turbocharged Mustang was the fastest Pro Mod car.

Posted with files by Rob Geiger & Bruce Biegler
DragRaceCanada File Photos