Kevin Rivenbark, Tutterow’s GALOT-sponsored teammate.

Although every round win was pivotal in the victory, it was Coughlin's second-round blast of 5.776 seconds at 252.76 mph against Kevin Rivenbark that brought the crowd to its feet. His elapsed time was within striking distance of the national record of 5.751, and was easily the best of the entire race weekend.

"We're not touching this racecar because it's perfect," Coughlin said of the turbocharged Corvette. "It might not come out of the trailer again until (the 2017 season opener in) Gainesville. What a year it's been and what a way to finish it off. The whole race team has been strong and we couldn't be more excited.”

Seeing Smith clinch the title earlier in the day followed a familiar pattern for the two pros, who once worked together when Smith tuned Coughlin's car. In the last five years, Coughlin won championships in 2012 and 2015, while Smith won it all in 2013, 2014 and now 2016.

Todd Tutterow (shown) got to the final round by getting past Shane Molinari in the first round, 5.884/243.72 to 5.909/252.00. In the second, Bob Rahaim’s Corvette lost traction, got out of the groove and he clicked it off. Jim Whiteley went red against Tutterow in the semi.

Michael Biehle II powered to the qualifying lead Friday posting a run of 5.848 seconds at 251.86 mph in his ’67 Mustang during the first of two qualifying attempts. Biehle ran 5.856/250.92 to defeat Steve Matusek’s (near lane) 5.928/243.55 in the first round, but lost to Rickie Smith in the second.