In the last major Pro Mod event for 2017 – Steve Jackson won the battle but Troy Coughlin won the war….

NHRA’s 12th and final J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series event was held during the season’s penultimate Toyota Nationals at Las Vegas last weekend.

Georgia-based and fast street car crossover racer Steve “Fast” Jackson emerged victorious in that ferocious finale winning in the Middle-eastern-based supercharged Bahrain 1 team Chevy Camaro – for the 2nd time in four final round appearances this season.

Jackson defeated a very fast and very competitive field which drew in 26 entries and which featured a 16-car bump spot at 5.918 secs.

Steve Jackson raced the middle-eastern based late model Camaro to victory at NHRA Las Vegas

Steve qualified 3rd before beating out Jim Whitely, Jonathan Gray and Dan Stevenson during the first three rounds of competition, That earned him a final round pairing versus newly crowned NHRA World Champion Troy Coughlin.

In that race both drivers had issues and Jackson posted a winning time of 7.081 seconds at 138.84 mph while Coughlin’s turbocharged C7 Corvette broke shortly after leaving the starting line.

“What an awesome win – this is my first time racing in Vegas and it’s an unbelievable experience,” said Jackson. “This is a tough class to even qualify for. To win the last race of the season is a game changer for us. Nobody wants to eat their Thanksgiving dinner thinking about getting their butt kicked. Jack Barbee, Mark Savage, Tracy Teasley and Robbie Lowry have killed it all year. Billy Stocklin is the best there is period. And I do a decent job half the time driving the car. Being a part of Bahrain 1 is very special. We are a big family and next year is mine.”

Steve “Fast” Jackson made four final round appearances in 2017 – and won twice.

The victory also vaulted Jackson to a 3rd place final finish in NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod points standings.

Earlier that day it was Troy Coughlin clinching his third NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series world championship.

Coughlin earned the crown when he defeated his closest points rival Mike Castellana, during the second round of eliminations.

“You look up in the stands and see all those people and you just want to win one more round,” said Coughlin. “The plan of attack we had happened to work. We crossed the finish line and saw those flashing win lights on the guard wall and you think this is a dream come true. It is hard to do and this class is getting tougher and tougher.”

Troy Coughlin continued his winning propensity in NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod racing – clinching a 3rd career points title at the season’s final event.

Coughlin earned the championship, his first since 2015, on the strength of two wins, four runner-up finishes and three No. 1 qualifiers. Troy Coughlin, who has raced full time in the series since its inception in 2010, has now finished either first or second in the points every season since 2012.

Pro Mod class racing did open with a very scary incident during Friday’s first session when Canada’s Eric Latino (Whitby ON) made hard contact with both guard walls racing his supercharged Chevy Camaro.   Thankfully the popular driver was not injured however his potent machine was severely damaged which forced him to withdraw from further competition.

You can link to YouTube of Eric’s hard hit incident:  HERE

NHRA J&A Service Pro Modified Final Season Points:

1. Troy Coughlin, 912; 2. Mike Castellana, 847; 3. Steve Jackson, 716; 4. Shane Molinari, 686; 5. Sidnei Frigo, 611; 6. Jonathan Gray, 603; 7. Steven Whiteley, 602; 8. Steve Matusek, 547; 9. Rickie Smith, 494; 10. Khalid alBalooshi, 493

Posted with files by Bruce Biegler & NHRA Communications

Photos courtesy of Phil Hutchison, Auto Imagery & NHRA