Three-time NHRA champion Jeg Coughlin will add a large dose of star power to this year’s Mopar Performance Parts Super Stock Hemi Challenge, which takes place Friday, Sept. 3, during the 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Coughlin, the 2000 and 2002 Pro Stock champ who also won the Super Gas world title in 1992, will be driving the quickest and fastest Super Stock/A-Automatic in the country during the special event. Michael Ogburn and Harry Holton have asked Coughlin to pilot their record-setting 1968 Plymouth Barracuda, which posted an 8.58 at 151.92 mph last October in Las Vegas.

“To win class at Indy is huge,” Coughlin said. “This Super Stock Hemi Challenge they’ve put together makes it even more special. This is the biggest race of the year for Stock and Super Stock and to be a part of it racing the quickest car of them all is very exciting.
Crew Chief Harry Holton shows Coughlin around
the inside of his West Coast Hemi Barracuda.
Photo courtesy of

“I’ve never raced a Super Stock/A-Automatic before. I know they’re the quickest production cars out there and I’ve always been a big fan of this particular class. I don’t know if I’m more excited about this shootout or the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. To win either race would be a real accomplishment.”

Coughlin has 45 national event wins to his credit including seven in Super Stock. He was a Super Stock All-Star in 1997 and won the Div. 3 Super Stock title in both 1994 and 1997. His reputation as a solid driver and a chance sighting at the Cajun SPORTSnationals earlier this year led to this special opportunity with Ogburn and Holton.

“I was watching the races at the Cajun SPORTSnationals and I guess a rumor quickly spread around that I was going to build a SS/AA,” Coughlin said. “It got everyone talking and when Michael realized he had business commitments that would keep him out of this year’s Hemi Challenge he called and asked me what my plans were. Since I didn’t have any plans he asked me if I’d like to drive his West Coast Hemi car.
Coughlin gets comfortable in his special ride.
Photo courtesy of

“I asked General Motors if it was okay and they didn’t have any issues with it, my family all thought it was cool, so I said, ‘Let’s do it!’ It’s a big diversion from what I’m used to. You use foot-brake starts, which I haven’t done since high school, and it requires a different driving style, but I’m up for the challenge.”

It’s expected that more than 20 Plymouth Barracudas and Dodge Darts will compete for the coveted $10,000 bonus awarded to the winner of the Hemi Challenge. The runner-up will receive a pair of Mopar Hemi heads.

“The pressure is on,” Coughlin said. “The racers in this class are all professional for the most part and I’m going out there with a target on me because I’ve got the fastest car of them all. I need to be on my toes for five rounds.”


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