INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Team JEGS driver Jeg Coughlin Jr., has announced plans to race a pair of sportsman entries during the upcoming Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park Aug. 30-Sept. 4. Coughlin will be racing in Super Stock during NHRA’s largest and most prominent event, and he will also be making a long-awaited return to Competition Eliminator. The three-time NHRA world champion will assume his now familiar role as the guest driver of Michael Ogburn’s West Coast Hemis Super Stock Barracuda and he recently finalized a deal to drive a new Chevy Cobalt in Comp for Oklahoma-based team owner Richard Freeman.

“I plan to stay very busy while I’m at Indy, but I’m really looking forward to it,” said Coughlin. “The West Coast Hemis Barracuda is one of my favorite cars to drive and I’m also excited about getting a chance to race in Comp Eliminator again.”

Behind the wheel of Ogburn’s Harry Holton-tuned Barracuda, Coughlin will once again be a top contender for the $10,000 top prize in the popular Mopar Performance Hemi Challenge on Friday, Sept. 1. Coughlin won the Hemi Challenge at Indy in 2004 and recorded a runner-up finish last year.

“The Hemi Challenge is a fantastic event,” said Coughlin. “I was fortunate enough to win it two years ago and I’d like nothing more than to win it again. The guys on the West Coast Hemis team have spent a lot of time this summer preparing especially for this race and even though the field is very competitive, I think we’ll have a car that can give them a run for their money.”

Coughlin last raced in Competition Eliminator in 1997, winning several events and contending for the world championship until the final weekend of the season. He recently got the opportunity to return to the class following a casual conversation with Freeman.

“I talk to Richard Freeman fairly often and when he told me that he’d just purchased a new Cobalt from Rod Dorsey, I half-jokingly asked him if I could drive it,” said Coughlin. “The next thing I knew, my [NHRA competition] number was on the side of it and I had an entry for the U.S. Nationals. Obviously, I haven’t driven the car yet, but knowing how competitive Richard Freeman is, I’m sure he’s going to put me in a hot rod that is capable of going deep into eliminations.”

The versatile Coughlin estimates that he’s driven eight different race cars during the 2006 season including a pair of JEGS Mail Order dragsters, two different Stock Eliminator entries, and his award-winning Chevy II bracket car. He’s been successful in nearly every one of them, winning several major E.T. bracket events, the Mopar Hemi Challenge race at the Mopars at the Strip event in Las Vegas, and the Top Dragster title at the third annual NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, La.

“Sometimes it’s hard to drive so many different cars, but I just try to do the best job I can, no matter what I’m driving,” said Coughlin. “Thankfully, the West Coast Hemis guys and the Freeman team are very good at what they do so that should help accelerate the learning curve. I’m very grateful to both teams for giving me this opportunity.”


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