Coughlin Overcomes Obstacles to Finish 17th at the Daytona International Speedway
STATESVILLE, N.C. (February 17, 2018)—Cody Coughlin performed solidly in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 Friday night at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Ultimately, the driver of the No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet Silverado for GMS Racing was met with challenges throughout the 100-lap NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) NextEra Energy Resources 250, relegating Coughlin to a 17th place finish.
Coughlin, part of the four-truck GMS Racing contingent, set the tenth-fastest lap in qualifying for 250-mile race, turning a lap of 49.611 seconds at 181.411 mph on the 2.5-mile track in the final qualifying round.
The Delaware, Ohio, native started in the tenth-place in the 32-truck field and held position for the season-opening laps. At the end of Stage 1, Lap 20, Coughlin was scored in the 10th-place. Under caution on Lap 22, crew chief Jerry Baxter opted for a fuel-only stop, but an issue while re-fueling the JEGS machine resulted in lost positioning on pit road, pushing Coughlin down to 11th-place on the Lap 26 restart.
The 22-year-old driver continued to show strength, climbing all the way to fourth place by Lap 32. He battled in the top-five before the caution flag waved on Lap 40 signaling the end of Stage 2, and on Lap 43 Coughlin came to pit road under the watchful-eye of Baxter for four tires and fuel. A right-front right issue held the No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet Silverado to a lengthy stop, and Coughlin restarted in the 18th-place for the Final Stage.
Coughlin and the No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet Silverado team scored extra points in Stages 1 and 2.
While in the eighth-place, Coughlin was involved in an incident on Lap 55, and was able to come to pit road for four tires, some quick damage repair. After reporting a vibration to Baxter, he returned to pit road on Lap 57 and again on Lap 59 for fuel. For the Lap 62 restart, Coughlin was scored in the 14th-place, and moments later another caution flag waved. Restarting in the 11th-place, Coughlin worked his way inside the top-10, but dodged additional damage when his left-rear tire gave out as an incident in Turn 4 which brought out the caution flag on Lap 74. Coughlin went to pit lane for service, and after receiving four tires and minor damage repair, restarted seventh. He continued to battle in the top-10 as the race wound down, and on Lap 83, under red-flag conditions, Coughlin was scored in the 11th-place. With five to go the No. 2 had another tire issue resulting in a last trip to pit road, ending his chances for victory.
Despite the 17th-place finish Friday night, the No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet Silverado team saw strong and encouraging performances from Coughlin.
“We had a good run going tonight, and a fast JEGS Chevrolet Silverado, very fast,” Coughlin said. “Our No. 2 JEGS team had terrible luck tonight. However, I am hopeful that the luck turns around and maybe it will swing in a big positive direction. We just had bad luck with two left-rear tires going down, and having to start at the tail (of the field) a lot.
“It’s just one of those ‘deals,’ you cannot do anything by yourself here (at Daytona International Speedway), you have to have some pushing and shoving to get upfront.” The next event on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule is the Active Pest Control 200 benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Saturday, February 24, at the Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway in Hampton. The FS1 and Motor Racing Network (MRN) will broadcast the race starting at 4:30 p.m. (ET).