INDIANAPOLIS, In. – When the Division 3 Lucas Oil Series opener at Indianapolis Raceway Park was delayed by three weeks due to rain, it proved to be blessing in disguise for Mike Coughlin and Team Jeg’s. The delay gave Coughlin enough time to make several test runs in his new JEG’S Mail Order Chevy Cobalt Top Sportsman entry. Coughlin recently completed an extensive test at the team’s home track, National Trail Raceway, where he made numerous mid-seven second runs, including a 7.20 at over 192-mph, the quickest and fastest run of his career. Now, he believes he has the potential to win some rounds.

“Our test session went real well and now I think we’re finally ready to go racing,” said Coughlin. “Actually, I was ready to race this car three weeks ago but I feel much more comfortable now than I did then. Having the ability to test has probably cut our learning curve in half.

“When I used to race in Pro Stock Truck, I ran in the 7.30s at over 180-mph but this new Top Sportsman car is quicker than that. Even though the car is quicker, it is very smooth. I have to give [chassis builder] Jerry Bickel a lot of credit for building a car that was pretty much ready to go the day it was delivered. We only had to make a couple of very minor changes and the car was ready to go. Hopefully, we can now contend for the Division 3 Top Sportsman championship.”

Coughlin has parked his JEG’S Mail Order Super Comp dragster so that he can fully concentrate on his new Top Sportsman entry. Coughlin’s brother, John plans to make his 2006 debut this weekend behind the wheel of his Super Stock Chevy Cavalier and his JEG’S Mail Order Super Comp dragster.

“I have always said that Indianapolis Raceway Park is one of our favorite places to race,” said John, who will be driving the same dragster that Brad Plourd drove to the U.S. Nationals Super Comp title at Indianapolis Raceway Park last year. “going back to the days when our dad raced in Top Fuel our family has had a lot of success at this track and hopefully Mike and I can continue that tradition this weekend. It’s been a long off-season and that rain delay only made it seem longer. We’re ready to go racing again.”

Qualifying for the Division 3 Lucas Oil Series event at Indianapolis Raceway Park will begin on Friday, April 21 and final eliminations are scheduled for Sunday, April 23.


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