READING, Pa. (Sept. 19) — Jeg Coughlin Jr. is a five-time Pro Stock champion and a five-time winner at Maple Grove Raceway, site of this weekend's 33rd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals. But neither of those impressive stats are what has him pumped up about the second of six races in the NHRA's Countdown to the Championship, where he currently ranks seventh overall.
"I'm excited about the change of seasons and a move back up north to what typically are cooler conditions," Coughlin said. "Without question, the Pro Stock cars run better in cooler climates, but the forecast is showing unseasonably warm conditions so we will have to wait and see there."
Adding to Coughlin's eagerness to return to a track where he's claimed Pro Stock trophies in 1999, 2008, 2009 and 2014, along with a Super Gas title in 1996, is the fact his JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro was tested extensively following Sunday's race in Charlotte.
"I think the guys will have this thing ready to run down a gravel road," he said. "We tested a bunch in the last month and brought in some help just before Charlotte to have a fresh look at what we were doing. The changes we made before Charlotte definitely worked but we weren't able to implement too many changes with the start of the Countdown. This latest test allowed us to delve even deeper into a better set-up.
"I have all of the faith in the world in this Elite Motorsports group. They are such a fun bunch to race with and we are really anxious to climb into the winner's circle this season. There's no better time to win than during the Countdown at a track like Maple Grove Raceway."
For the third race in a row, Team JEGS racer Troy Coughlin Jr., Jeg Jr.'s nephew, will be racing Super Comp alongside his famous uncle. Natives of Delaware, Ohio, both drivers consider Maple Grove a home track of sorts.
"This was one of the tracks where Dad (Jeg Sr.) used to race when my brothers and I were kids and we all raced here quite a bit ourselves, especially in our Sportsman days," Jeg Jr. said. "I know T.J. (Troy Jr.) can tell the same stories because he used to come help his dad and the rest of us when he was a kid and now he's racing here. It's a very familiar and therefore comfortable place to race for all of us in the Coughlin family."
Pro Stock qualifying sessions are scheduled for 1:45 and 4:15 p.m., Friday, and 12:45 and 3:15 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations begin at 1 p.m., Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will carry the first day qualifying action live from 2:30-3:30 p.m., Friday. Live eliminations will air on FOX Sports 1 from 2-5 p.m., Sunday. (All times are local and subject to change.)