CHICAGO (June 5) — Pro Stock superstar Jeg Coughlin Jr. will proudly wear three hats this weekend at the 10th annual Torco Race Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals, or more accurately a helmet a couple of hats.

As always, Coughlin will don a race helmet whenever he makes a quick quarter-mile pass in his yellow-and-black Chevrolet Cobalt, which currently has him a lofty third in the POWERade championship points standings. In between qualifying and elimination passes, Coughlin will also be serving as lead representative for JEGS High Performance, the mail order giant that is sponsoring the JEGS Allstars event. He’ll even slip on a Victor Cagnazzi Racing hat and cheer for his teammate Dave Connolly, who is competing in the elite $50,000 King Demon Crown event on Saturday.

“Job 1 is racing for the win and gaining as many points as possible this weekend,” Coughlin said. “We definitely have established the fact we have a top four car week-in and week-out. Looking over the data from Topeka we feel like we have some small gains to make and that’s exciting.

“The top few cars in Pro Stock are not making many mistakes these days so the margin for error is non-existent. We have to stay on our game. I have won twice in Chicago before (in 2002 and 2003) so there’s a nice level of comfort there.”

For the 23rd consecutive year, a field of 64 of the best NHRA Sportsman drivers from all over North America will converge on Route 66 Raceway for the annual JEGS Allstars competition. The 64 drivers, representing each of NHRA’s seven geographic divisions, will compete for a share of more than $100,000 in cash and contingency awards.

“The JEGS Allstars race is a very neat event,” Coughlin said, “and, on behalf of JEGS Mail Order and our 400 associates, I can proudly say we’re all very honored to be a part of this race. My brothers and I are all big into Sportsman racing and this event is the most prestigious on the schedule. I’m excited just to see this much talent assembled in one place. It’ll be easy to find me when I’m not in my Pro Stock car — I’ll be in the stands watching the Allstars get after it.”

On Saturday, Coughlin will support Connolly in his quest for the $50,000 top prize in the King Demon Crown special event for the top eight Pro Stock qualifiers from the last 12 months. Connolly is the No. 4 qualifier in the race and will line his Torco Race Fuels Cobalt up against veteran Kurt Johnson in Round 1.

Based on his average qualifying position in the events in which he competed, Coughlin would have qualified for the event in the No. 3 position had he raced the entire 2006 schedule. But he rejoined the NHRA tour late in the ’06 season after nearly a year off, missing 11 of the 22 races that counted towards the KDC.

“It’s a big-time race because of the money involved and because it’s the best drivers our class has to offer,” Coughlin said. “Dave’s in the mix and we’ll be there on the starting line rooting for him to bring it home to Victor Cagnazzi Racing.

“It’s going to be a big weekend for me and I’m excited. The season is really cranking up and that’s just fine by me. I love it.”

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