Coughlin’s No. 1 JEGS Chevrolet was one of the best in practice and qualifying for the Winchester 100 presented by JEGS.com, but Coughlin was collected in an accident on Lap 36 that put an end to his race, the second of the year for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour. Coughlin ultimately finished in 24th place.
“Two lapped cars got together in front of us and Cody didn’t have anywhere to go,” said crew chief Butch VanDoorn. “He actually did a great job of not getting any more damage than he did.
“We had a class car today and it’s unfortunate, but that’s racing.”
Coughlin had the fastest car during the final practice period and ultimately qualified third with a best lap of 16.137 seconds. It seemed fortune was really smiling on the JEGS team after Coughlin’s position was drawn for the invert, giving him the pole position.
The 16-year-old racer led the first three laps of the race before getting passed. Coughlin lost a few more positions on a restart following the first caution of the day on Lap 13 but was holding his own against the stacked field of frontrunners.
Looking confident behind the wheel, Coughlin settled into fourth place and was stalking the leaders, when on that fateful Lap 36, Taylor Ferns, who was running a lap down, lost the rear end of her car, spun out and slid up the track’s banking, leaving Coughlin no time or space to avoid a hard collision.
“We’d been in a similar position chasing down the leaders here last year,” VanDoorn said. “It’s important to save your tires for the end so Cody was just hanging out, saving his stuff when it all happened.”
Up next for Coughlin and the JEGS Chevy team will be a May 19 date at Illiana Speedway in Schererville, Ind.
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Scott “Woody” Woodruff
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