PENSACOLA, Fla. (Dec. 5) – The Allen Turner Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway Saturday night turned into a matter of survival. Cody Coughlin did just that, bringing home a damaged JEGS.com Chevrolet to an 11th-place finish.
“It was clean for the first 50 laps or so, and then everybody decided to be overly aggressive, and it turned into a demolition derby,” the 15-year-old Coughlin said. “I think we had five cautions without putting one lap on the board. It was a wreckfest.”
The 100-lap race was slowed by 15 caution flags and one red flag for a multi-car crash with 27 laps to go. Coughlin’s JEGS.com Chevrolet suffered damage in three separate accidents, none of his own doing.
“It was definitely the most-destroyed car that I finished the race with,” Coughlin said. “I’ve got to give it to my guys for working hard and getting all that stuff put together. It was quite a fiasco. We had a bent wheel, bent spindles, torn-up sheet metal – there was a lot of stuff broken on it.
“But they got it fixed, and we were able to finish the race on the lead lap. I’m very proud of them for that because it was no easy job. We survived the rest of the night, missed some wrecks and ended up 11th.”
Coughlin, making his first appearance at the half-mile Five Flags Speedway, was seventh in the final Snowflake practice session and qualified 19th.
“We had pretty good practice sessions,” Coughlin said. “In qualifying, I had a pretty good lap, but with the field so tight, it was 19th.”
The fastest 36 drivers made the race out of 74 entries for the Snowflake 100, a Pro Late Model race held in conjunction with the Snowball Derby. The Derby is one of the premier short-track races of the year, and the Snowflake 100 has grown into one of the most popular races, too.
“We’re very proud of Cody for sticking with it through all 100 laps,” his mother Di Coughlin said.
“We were hit, run over, spun-out and kicked to the curb but Cody stayed on the wheel and finished with a happy heart,” his father John Coughlin added.
Cody Coughlin and the JEGS.com team race next at Lanier National Speedway in Georgia in Speedfest 2012 on Jan. 28-29. After that, Coughlin will compete in short-track races during Speedweeks in Florida in February.
“I’m thankful to the Lord and to my family for being able to race this year,” Cody Coughlin said. “It was nice weather and pretty cool to be by the ocean all week.”
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