John and Mike Coughlin will make their 2006 debuts at this weekend’s NHRA Division 3 Lucas Oil Series event at historic Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind. John will race his Chevy Cavalier in Super Stock and compete in Super Comp with his dragster while Mike will concentrate his efforts on his new Chevy Cobalt Top Sportsman car.

“It’s been a long winter and I’m excited to go racing again,” said John. “Indianapolis has always been one of my favorite places to race. Our family has a lot of great memories from Indy, and hopefully we can make some more this weekend.”

Over the years, the Coughlin family has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success at Indianapolis Raceway Park. A Coughlin has won the Indy points meet five times, including John’s Super Gas win at the 1994 event. Jeg Coughlin Jr. has won two Division 3 titles at IRP in 1992 and 1997 and family patriarch Jeg Coughlin Sr. claimed the Pro Comp title at Indy in 1976 and the Top Fuel crown in 1978.

Jeg and Mike Coughlin have also scored two wins at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals held at IRP while Troy won the Super Gas title in 1991. Last year, John celebrated an Indy win as a car owner as he provided the Jeg’s Mail Order dragster that Brad Plourd drove to the Super Comp championship.

After finishing eighth in the North Central Division Super Comp standings a year ago, Mike will make the jump to the Top Sportsman class this season. He plans to take delivery of his new Chevy Cobalt from chassis builder Jerry Bickel’s shop in St. Louis, Mo., on Wednesday and plans to test the car on Thursday and Friday. Coughlin expects the car to run in the low seven-second range at close to 190-mph.

“I still love racing in Super Comp, but I was ready for a change and right now, Top Sportsman is a hot class,” said Mike. “Normally, I’d be a little hesitant to bring a brand new car to a race like this but Jerry Bickel has built plenty of these cars and I’m confident that he’ll provide me with a competitive race car.

“I ran 7.3s at over 180-mph when I was racing in the Pro Stock Truck class a few years ago, so I don’t think I will have to make a big adjustment to get used to the new Top Sportsman car.”

Qualifying for the NHRA Division 3 Lucas Oil Series event at Indianapolis Raceway Park begins on Friday April 7 and continues on Saturday. Final eliminations are scheduled for Sunday, April 9.

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