DALLAS (October 14, 2016) – Kalitta Motorsports is pleased to announce the expansion to a third Top Fuel dragster team driven by Troy Coughlin, Jr. beginning in the 2017 season. This announcement aligns two of the legendary names in the sport, Kalitta and Coughlin, for the first time.
“I am very excited to be competing in the Top Fuel class with Kalitta Motorsports,” said Coughlin, Jr. “Kalitta Motorsports has a lot of history and legacy in NHRA similar to my family. The first time I came to Team Kalitta I noticed the family-type atmosphere and the extreme desire to win and I knew this was the team I wanted to be involved with. I am studying hard and plan to hit the ground running and have a strong start to the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.”
Coughlin, Jr. is the current points leader in Division 3’s Super Comp division. He previously won the 2013 Super Gas title in Division 3 and is a two-time NHRA U.S. Nationals winner. Last season, he drove in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod series and was named Rookie of the Year. In his career, the 26-year-old driver has driven Junior Dragsters, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Dragster and Pro Mod machines. Earlier this year, he earned his Top Fuel license.
Next season, Coughlin, Jr. is currently scheduled to compete in a limited schedule that may be expanded with additional funding.
Coughlin, Jr. comes from a family with a long line of NHRA success. He will be the first Coughlin to compete in the Top Fuel ranks since his grandfather, Jeg Coughlin, Sr., won races in the late ’70s and ’80s. His father, Troy Coughlin, Sr., is the reigning NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Champion, while his uncles, John Coughlin, Mike Coughlin and Jeg Coughlin, Jr. are all multi-time champions. John and Mike earned multiple Division 3 titles, while Jeg Coughlin, Jr. is a five-time Pro Stock champion and current Countdown for the Championship qualifier. All totaled the Coughlin family owns 111 NHRA national event wins.
He is expected to be a strong contender for the 2017 AAA Road to the Future rookie of the year trophy, which is something that his uncle, Jeg Coughlin, Jr., claimed in 1998, and three of his new teammates, Del Worsham (1991), Doug Kalitta (1998) and J.R. Todd (2006), have also earned.
“Kalitta Motorsports is thrilled to have Troy, Jr. join our team,” said Jim Oberhofer, Vice President of Operations, Kalitta Motorsports. “He has a ton of talent and a passion for racing. The Coughlin and Kalitta names have a long track record of success in NHRA drag racing and we know Troy, Jr. is just going to help continue that tradition of success for both families for years to come.”
Founded in 1959, Kalitta Motorsports will expand to a sixth entry for the first time in its history. As the only multi-car nitro team to qualify every team in the Countdown for the Championship for the past three seasons, Team Kalitta has a long history of success. Coughlin, Jr. will have an incredible set of teammates to lean on as he goes through his rookie season. Current Team Kalitta drivers Kalitta, Todd, Worsham, Alexis DeJoria and Paul Lee have nearly 100 combined victories and over 1,000 round wins.
Coughlin, Jr.’s 2017 schedule, sponsorship and crew chief will be announced at a later date.
Photo is courtesy of Kalitta Motorsports. For high-res imagery, please email your request to Cody Poor.
About Kalitta Motorsports
Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with six world championships and over 100 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.
Team Kalitta is the home of the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car World Champion, Del Worsham. He drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car. J.R. Todd drives the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster while Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Team Kalitta also manages the McLeod Racing Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Paul Lee. Kalitta Motorsports will expand to a sixth entry in 2017 with AAA Road to the Future candidate, Troy Coughlin, Jr. Connie serves as head tuner for all Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Nick Boninfante on the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, Todd Smith on the McLeod Racing Toyota Camry Funny Car, Rob Flynn on the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster and Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include ARP, AutoDesk CAM, Champion, Cogistics, Darton Sleeves, DHL, Justice Brothers, Kalitta Air, Mac Tools, Optima Batteries, Phoenix Fuel Converter, Racing Electronics, Red Line Oil, SealMaster, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies, Tequila Patrón, TMS Titanium, Toyota and Ziebart.