Pro Modified cars almost weren’t going to be a part of the NHRA race series this season. Some of last year’s group of racers who financed the NHRA Pro Mod exhibition series opted out of this year’s program, including long time financial supporter Dave Wood, who’s AMS Staff Leasing company were the title rights sponsor of the series for the last five years or so who withdrew his financial support of the NHRA series for the ADRL, of which he is one of the owners. Then Mike Ashley and Roger Burgess who were going to help finance the series also withdrew their support when NHRA would only offer them a one-year contract.
Things looked grim for the series until the JEGS company’s Troy Coughlin joined with other NHRA Pro Mod racers (Stan Ray, Tim Tindle and Brad Anderson) to continue funding the series, branding it as the JEGS ProMod Challenge. The JEGS management also committed their PR department to the series. If it weren’t for Troy Coughlin committing the funding and taking on the job as the promoter for the series, NHRA Pro Mods as an exhibition series could have been relegated to racing history’s dust bin. But Coughlin, a Pro Mod racer and part of the JEGS management team, did step up and we thought he would make a great subject for this month’s “innerview”.
Why and how did JEGS become the title rights sponsor for the NHRA Pro Mod series?
TROY COUGHLIN: Well, actually the racers who have supported the series for the last few years came to me when they heard about the NHRA’s decision not to grant Mike Ashley and his partner Roger Burgess more than a one-year contract and that those guys (Ashley and Burgess) were talking to the ADRL about moving the series over there. They asked me if I had any interest in helping making the NHRA Pro Mod deal work because they wanted to continue racing with the NHRA and they wanted keep racing on quarter mile tracks. I looked at the program and agreed to join with those racers to fund the Pro Mod program in the NHRA this year; after all the NHRA has been a great organization for the racers for a long time. I also want to tell you that a couple of those guys invested more in the series than JEGS did. That’s how dedicated to the NHRA series they are.
How long did it take for you to decide to fund the program?
TROY COUGHLIN: It took us two weeks to look at the opportunity and decide that it was a good fit for JEGS. Frankly we were attracted to the series because Pro Mod racers and a lot of the racers that have Pro Mod-style cars buy a lot of parts from our company. They are our customers. So, it was part my love of Pro Mod racing and part a business decision.