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Team JEGS Pre-race Notes: Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals

May 15, 2017

Heartland Park Topeka (Topeka, Kan.) May 19-21, 2017

The JEGS Mail Order team will be well represented during this weekend’s Menards NHRA Hartland Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. Six-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. will lead the effort behind the wheel of the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Camaro in Pro Stock. Troy Coughlin Jr. will be behind the wheel of the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster fielded by Kalitta Motorsports. Coughlin’s father, Troy, will also be in action in the J&A Services Pro Mod series with his JEGS.com Corvette.

Jeg Coughlin Jr. will continue his pursuit of a sixth NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock title (and seventh overall) at this weekend’s event. Jeg Jr. will be driving a Rick Jones Race Cars-built Chevy Camaro as a member of the Elite Motorsports team.

Following a semifinal at last weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta, Jeg. Jr. enters this week’s Atlanta race as the No. 5 ranked driver in the Pro Stock class. So far this year, Jeg Jr. has a best finish of a runner-up at the Houston round.

Last season, Jeg Jr. raced in his first full season for the Elite team and recorded the 16th top ten finish of his career.

Jeg Coughlin Jr. is once again racing as a teammate to two-time world champ Erica Enders. The four car Elite team also includes Pro Stock racers Vincent Nobile and Alex Laughlin. Veteran crew chiefs Rick Jones, Mark Ingersoll and Brian “Lump” Self are the tuners of the Elite Pro Stock cars and regularly share data.

Jeg Jr. is a two-time Pro Stock winner in Topeka. In 2013, he drove to a final round win over Allen Johnson in an all-Mopar final round. Jeg Jr. also won the Pro Stock title at the 2000 Topeka event, driving his Team JEGS entry to a final round win over Darrell Alderman.

In addition to his two wins, Jeg Jr. also has a pair of runner-up finishes in Topeka. In 1998, his first appearance at Heartland Park Topeka as a professional, Jeg Jr. lost to Warren Johnson in that final. In his most recent event in 2014, Jeg Jr. was a runner-up to Allen Johnson.

Jeg Jr. has qualified in the top half of the Pro Stock field in 12 of his 16 appearances at Heartland Park Topeka including a best of No. 1 in 2000. Jeg has been the No. 1 qualifier 22 times in his career.

As a sportsman racer, Jeg Jr. won the Super Stock title in Topeka in 1994 and earned a runner-up finish in Competition Eliminator in 1997. That season, he set an NHRA record by winning national events in four separate classes; Pro Stock, Comp, Super Stock, and Super Gas.

In 16 career appearances at Heartland Park Topeka, Jeg Jr. has a round win record of 25-13 in Pro Stock competition.

Jeg Jr.’s best elapsed time in a Pro Stock car is 6.484 seconds and his best speed is 214.62 mph, both recorded in Gainesville in 2014. Earlier this season in Houston, he ran a best of 6.499-seconds, his best run in the fuel injection era.

Jeg Jr. is one of just 18 professional racers to win 500 elimination rounds in NHRA competition, a feat he accomplished at the 2013 Topeka race. The only other Pro Stock drivers with 500 round wins are Warren Johnson, Greg Anderson, Bob Glidden, Kurt Johnson, and Jason Line.

Jeg Jr. is a five-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock champion. He earned season titles in 2000, 2002, 2007-2008 and 2013. As a sportsman driver, Jeg Jr. also claimed the NHRA Super Gas championship in 1992.

Including Heartland Park Topeka, Jeg Coughlin Jr. has won at least one NHRA national event at 24 different facilities making him the all-time leader in that category. The only current venues on the NHRA Mello Yello tour where he has not won are the tracks in Norwalk and Epping.

This season, Jeg Jr. has been the No. 1 qualifier in Pro Stock in Houston and Charlotte. He has now been the No. 1 qualifier at 22 events during his career.

Jeg Jr. is the only driver to win national event titles in seven different categories. He has won in Pro Stock, Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas and Top Dragster.

Jeg Jr. is the only professional racer in history to win a national event title from all 16 starting spots. During his Indy win in 2000, Jeg qualified No. 16.

With 58 Pro Stock wins in his career, Jeg Jr. ranks fourth all-time among Pro Stock drivers. Only Warren Johnson (97), Greg Anderson (87), and Bob Glidden (85) and have more titles.

With 597 round wins, Jeg Jr. is currently tied with ten-time champion Bob Glidden, who also registered 597 wins during his career. 

In 387 career Pro Stock races, Jeg Jr. has reached the final round 101 times, recording 58 wins. Including his 18 sportsman victories, Jeg Jr. has won a total of 76 times, good for ninth place on NHRA’s all-time wins list. During his career, Jeg Jr. has appeared in 125 final rounds, 101 as a professional and 24 as a sportsman racer.

During his Pro Stock career, Jeg Jr. has competed in 388 events and has a round win record of 597-314. He has red-lighted just 22 times and failed to qualify just 16 times.

In 2017, Troy Coughlin Jr. carried on a longstanding family tradition when he joined his grandfather, Hall of Famer Jeg Coughlin Sr. in the Top Fuel class. Jeg Sr. raced Top Fuel from 1977-79. He finished No. 7 in the 1978 standings and recorded career bests of 5.97-seconds and 249.30 mph during his career.

Troy Coughlin Jr. is driving the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster, which is owned by drag racing and aviation legend Connie Kalitta. The car is tuned by veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer. Troy Jr. is racing as a teammate to 42-time national event winner Doug Kalitta and 2013 Top Fuel champion Shawn Langdon. Troy’s teammates also include Funny Car drivers J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria.

Following last weekend’s Atlanta event, Troy Jr. enters Topeka as the No. 9 ranked driver in the Top Fuel class. So far this year, Troy Jr. has reached the quarterfinals at three events in Pomona, Gainesville and Houston. His best elapsed time is a 3.696 recorded in Phoenix and his best speed is 328.86 mph recorded in Gainesville.

Troy Jr. is driving the same SealMaster dragster that J.R. Todd drove to six final rounds last season including a victory in Sonoma.

Troy Jr. is expected to be one of the leading contenders for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award that honors NHRA’s top professional rookie. Troy Jr’s uncle, Jeg Jr. was named NHRA rookie of the year in 1998 after a second-place finish in the Pro Stock class.

Troy Jr. is a five-time NHRA national event winner and the first third-generation Coughlin to win a major event. Troy Jr. won Super Comp titles at the 2009 Las Vegas race and the 2010 U.S. Nationals. He won a pair of national events last season, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals. 

Troy Jr. is also the 2013 NHRA North Central Division Super Gas champion

During his career, Troy Jr. has appeared in nine Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional final rounds and has claimed three victories.

In addition to his success in NHRA events, Troy Jr. is also regarded as one of the sport’s best E.T. bracket racers. He has accumulated several major victories including a $25,000 payday at the Atco Dragway Superbucks event and a $10,000 win the Spring Buck Blast at South Georgia Motorsports Park.

The Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals will mark the fifth race in the 12-event 2017 J&A Services Pro Mod Series. Two-time series champion Troy Coughlin will continue his quest for a third title behind the wheel of his turbocharged JEGS.com C7 Corvette. 

At the most recent event in Atlanta, Troy did not qualify for final eliminations, ending his qualifying streak at 34-straight events. In spite of the DNQ, Troy is currently ranked No. 3 in the championship standings. He trails leader Mike Castellana by just 171 points. In addition to his semifinal finish in Charlotte, Troy was also a semifinalist at the season-opener in Gainesville.

The JEGS.com Pro Mod Corvette is tuned by noted turbocharger expert Steve Petty. With a top speed in excess of 260-mph, Troy is one of the fastest drivers in the Pro Mod class. He has also recorded a personal best elapsed time of 5.766-seconds.

Last year, Troy battled for the title until the final event of the season before finishing a close second to eventual champ Rickie Smith. He claimed three wins in Englishtown, St. Louis, and the season-ending event in Las Vegas.

Last season, Troy was one of just four Pro Mod racers, along with Michael Biehle, Steven Whiteley, and Rickie Smith, who qualified for all ten events. In 2015-16, Coughlin is the only driver to qualify for all 20 races.

Troy won his first NHRA national event title at the U.S. Nationals in 1991 when he drove his Pro Stock-style Olds to the win in Super Gas. Troy defeated Mary Ann Jackson in the final. Troy’s first Pro Mod victory came at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in New Jersey in 2005 when as he drove his supercharged Mustang to as win over Zack Barkledge in the final round.

Troy is one of the few Pro Mod competitors who have raced all three current engine combinations; turbocharged, supercharged, and nitrous oxide-assisted

Before moving to the Pro Mod class, Troy enjoyed success in the NHRA Pro Stock class, recording two wins in 12 final round appearances. He also won the $50,000 top prize at the 2000 Winston No Bull Showdown at Bristol Dragway, a special non-points event for Pro Stock competitors.

All told, Troy has ten NHRA national event wins in 25 final round appearances in Pro Mod, Pro Stock, and Super Gas competition.

Troy is a former National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) Pro Street champion. While racing his Pro Street car, he also won the $50,000 Big Dog event at Piedmont Dragway in Greensboro, N.C.

The Coughlin family, including John, Troy, Mike, Jeg Jr. and Troy Jr. has combined for 113 NHRA national event victories since 1990. The Coughlin’s have won in nine different eliminators including Pro Stock, Pro Stock Truck, Pro Mod, Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Sportsman and Top Dragster.

 

TEAM JEGS - By the Numbers

Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals

3 - Team JEGS entries in action this weekend in Atlanta in Top Fuel, Pro Stock, and Pro Mod.

3 - Wins for Jeg Coughlin Jr. in Topeka (two in Pro Stock and one in Super Stock)

7 - Different classes where Jeg Coughlin Jr. has won at least one NHRA national event title (the only driver to do so)

10 - Number of classes where the Coughlin family has earned an NHRA national event victory

16 - Top ten finishes for Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the Pro Stock class since 1998

113 - Combined NHRA national event victories for the Coughlin family

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Media Contact:
Scott "Woody" Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800-345-4545 (#3, ext. 412)
Mobile: 614-595-1820
Fax: 740-362-5507
Email: jegspr@aol.com or scott.woodruff@jegs.com