BROWNSBURG, IN (September 4, 2017) – The NHRA U.S. Nationals, aka the “Big Go”, is considered by many to be the largest and most prestigious drag race in the world. It’s no surprise that twenty-six Pro Mod teams came out to Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana, for a shot at making history.
There’s a little more of everything at the Big Go, including an extra round of qualifying, yet the number of spots is still sixteen. All teams brought their best game, which lead to a 5.846-second bump at the conclusion of the four qualifying rounds. Three Pro Line Racing-powered teams qualified for this historic race:
Going into eliminations, Coughlin outran Jim Whiteley to finish for a first round win. Molinari unleashed the power of his PLR Hemi to run a 5.77 at 257.78 MPH, which was enough to beat Daniel Stevenson and claim the event top speed honors. Frigo’s first round matchup was the fourth qualifier, Stevie “Fast” Jackson, who is an intimidating opponent for anyone. Frigo was undaunted, though, and beat Jackson off the line but then trailed until the 660-foot mark but made a big move with his Brandon Stroud-tuned, PLR Hemi-powered, C7 Corvette back- machine and flew right on past Jackson for the win.
Coughlin ran a solid 5.756 elapsed time in round two for a win over Jonathan Gray, who was disqualified for crossing center. Molinari’s 5.858-second burst was not enough to reel in the hard charging Rickie Smith, which ended the day for the Molinari-Bond Motorsports team. Steven Whiteley got a slight starting line jump on Frigo, yet the white Artivinco Racing Corvette streaked on by at the sixty foot and never let up.
The odds were improving for Team Pro Line Racing, with two cars still in the hunt at the start of the semi-finals. Frigo went first and outran Richie Stevens to the stripe for his first ever NHRA final round appearance. The 2016 champ, Rickie Smith, was hoping to put an end to Coughlin’s day in the semis. The JEGS Performance Pro Mod team had other plans and the Steve Petty-tuned PLR Hemi was up to the challenge and propelled the yellow C7 Corvette to a blistering 5.778 at 256.41 MPH hit for the win.The 2017 NHRA U.S. Nationals Pro Modified final featured two cars, two PLR technicians tuning FuelTech FT600 engine management systems, and one extremely powerful and consistent PLR Hemi powering both. Frigo was the clear underdog based on Coughlin’s long résumé of wins, yet he was first to the finish line and won his career first Wally. Not only was it Frigo’s first win, it was also Stroud’s debut as an NHRA tuner. Congratulations to the Artivinco Racing team for a hard earned U.S. Nationals win and the same to the JEGS Performance team for runner-up.