NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals
Belle Rose, LA
Although the NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals is a new event the formula of success is well mapped out throughout NHRA history. The bijou area has been a hotbed for NHRA Drag Racing for years.
The NHRA Cajun Nationals was a race filled with true NHRA Drag Racing heritage. The well-known event lived a life in the hay-days of drag racing from 1977 to 1991. Marquee drivers like Bob Glidden, Lee Shepherd and Butch Leal battled fearsly to take home the title in Pro Stock. Billy Meyer, Raymond Beadle, Don “the snake” Prudhomme and Tom “the mongoose” McEwen all made their presence felt in Funny Car through the years. Winner’s in Top Fuel were guys by the name of Richard Tharp, Kelly Brown, Gary Beck, Jeb Allen, Mark Oswald, Larry Minor, Don Garlits, Dick LaHaie, Darrell Gwynn, Gene Snow and the late Gary Ormsby.
The NHRA held SPORTSnational style events from 1974 to 1986. These special events were run at three tracks filled with tradition. The three tracks were Beech Bend Raceway, Houston International Dragway and Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Fast forward to 2004 and a new event has taken shape. Keeping in mind the tradition of The NHRA Cajun Nationals and various SPORTSnational events run in the past a new event was born. The NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals will be run at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, Louisiana April 23-25th. The event is considered to a Lucas Oil NHRA national event for the six classes competing. The six NHRA competition classes are Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street.
In addition to the cutthroat sportsman racing on the track there will be a number of exhibition runs. Darrell Russell and Scott Palmer will represent the Top Fuel class for the fans. Jeg and Troy Coughlin will blaze down the quarter mile in their Jeg’s Mail Order Chevy Cavalier Pro Stock cars. Pro Stock Bike riders Redell Harris, Michael Phillips and Gary Tonglet will be on hand to take care of the two-wheel experience of the NHRA.
“There has been a lot of buzz about this event since early in the planning process,” said Jeg. “The excitement and enthusiasm of Pat Joffrion and his entire group have given competitors a lot to look forward to.”
Jeg Coughlin will also get behind the wheel of his Jeg’s Mail Order Dragster in Super Comp at the NHRA SPORTSnationals. The last time the 45-time NHRA national event winner got behind the wheel in Super Comp was last season in Dallas, TX.
“My brother Troy and I are going to be making some exhibition and test runs in our Pro Stock cars,” explained Jeg. “I had a couple people offer for me to drive their car in competition at this event. My brother John had previous plans with his family for this weekend and that freed up some space in the trailer. I am really looking forward to competing in such a great event.”
Mike Coughlin will be driving double duty this weekend at the NHRA SPORTSnationals. He will be racing in Super Comp and Super Gas in a quest to score the 101st victory for the Coughlin family.
“I remember going to the Cajun Nationals when my dad raced Top Fuel with our crew cab duallie and Chaparral Trailer,” remembered Mike. “We were my dad’s crew and we had top speed of the event at 249.80 mph. My dad beat Big Daddy in the first round and I can remember it like it was yesterday. I am really excited to be a part of the NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals this year and create some more family memories.”
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NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series