Following Family Footsteps
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, drag racing has been a dream for 26-year old Troy Coughlin Jr. all the way from his childhood to now. He has followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather–both of whom hold impressive achievements in the sport. Coughlin’s father, Troy Sr. is proudly known as the two-time Pro Mod champion. Coughlin’s grandfather, Jeg Coughlin Sr., drove Top Fuel in the mid to late 70s. Jeg had asked his grandson if he thought it would be cool to get his license, and Troy’s career has taken off ever since.
Troy’s constant surrounding by the sport, in addition to his love for competition, has contributed to the growth of his passion for drag racing. Now, Troy is in his first season driving for Kalitta Motorsports. He drives for Connie Kalitta in a SealMaster Toyota Top Fuel dragster. Connie plays the role of Troy’s Crew Chief alongside Rob Flynn. While it is not common to have two Crew Chiefs in one team, Troy combines each of their individual talents to his advantage. While Kalitta comes up with the ideas, Flynn makes it his priority to bring these ideas to life.
— Troy Coughlin Jr (@troycoughlinjr) March 7, 2017
Rookie Doing Big Things
As a rookie, Troy’s first time getting into a Top Fuel dragster was extremely intimidating. Just standing next to the machine is a sensory overload considering the immense amount of power it holds. Even more extreme is the exhilarating act of hitting the gas pedal and listening to the vehicle roar. Troy has become accustomed to the intensity and has used his experience growing up to his benefit as he competes. He qualified sixth in his Debut Top Fuel event Pomona where he earned a first round victory over Shawn Reed. Troy holds a career-best E.T. of 3.696 which he achieved at Phoenix 2017. He accomplished his career-best speed at Pomona 2017 which leaves him at 328.46 MPH. Coughlin Jr. is a leading candidate for the Auto Club Road to the Future trophy, making him a contender to be named the Best Rookie Driver in the 2017 season.
Throughout his career, Troy has participated in both the Super Gas and the Super Comp. Troy compares this to the NCAA basketball tournament in that anything goes, making it hard to predict the winner. Troy has managed to overcome the odds and earn 5 Career National Event wins–3 in Super Gas and 2 in Super Comp. Despite his young career, Troy has been named a winner at every level of drag racing. His talent has definitely not gone unrecognized. Coughlin Jr. was honored as one of the “brightest young people in drag racing” as he was named to Drag Illustrated’s “30 Under 30” list.
Troy’s favorite part of his career is that he has immersed himself in a sport that embraces fans. He is motivated by his dedicated fan base which consists of different people from all different cities. Coughlin Jr. looks forward to coming to the Gainesville Raceway for the Gator Nationals. As one of his favorite races, Troy hopes to use it to his advantage and continue excelling in his career.