COLUMBUS, Ohio (Sept. 19) – After the opening day of qualifying in the fourth annual JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals, John Coughlin is qualified solidly in both the Top Dragster and Super Stock classes while his brother, Mike, is among the leaders in the Top Sportsman division.

Driving his JEGS Chevy Cobalt, John ran a best of 8.67 seconds and is currently ranked 11th out of more than 110 drivers in the Super Stock class. He is also qualified solidly in the Top Dragster class with his Undercover Chassis dragster.

Mike, the two-time and defending Top Sportsman champion at the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals, is challenging for the top spot in qualifying after one run with a best of 6.86-seconds that is currently good for the No. 2 spot behind early leader John Prime of Thomastown, Conn., who posted a 6.79 in his Chevy Camaro.

Troy Coughlin Jr., competing in his first SPORTSnationals race, made several competitive time trail runs in his Super Comp dragster while John’s son, Cody, who races in the Jr. Dragster division, geared up for Sunday’s eliminations by driving his Quarter Midget racer to a second place finish in the Buckeye Quarter Midget Racing Association event held Friday night.

“So far so good,” said John. “Everyone had a good time today. We all made some decent runs so we have some data to use for the rest of the weekend. My Super Stock is running exactly how we expected it to run and I’m pretty pleased with my run in Top Dragster as well.

“I also heard that there are over 500 races here this weekend and I believe it,” Coughlin noted. “This place is packed and that’s a great thing. It’s really nice to see how the sportsman racers come together and support these [SPORTSnationals] events.”

In addition to Top Sportsman leader Prime, the other first day low qualifiers are Jason Coan, of Greentown, Ind. (Comp Eliminator), Lee Sharp of Maryville, Tenn. (Super Stock), Judy McCormack of Oxford, Mich. (Stock Eliminator), and Tom Swigart of Xenia, Ohio (Top Dragster). In addition, Charlie Westcott Sr., of Parma, Mich., leads the 14-car field for the Mopar Hemi Challenge with a run of 8.585-seconds.

Saturday’s action at National Trail Raceway will include class eliminations in Super Stock and Stock including the popular Mopar Hemi Challenge. Also on tap for Saturday is the Jegs Top Dragster Showdown. Qualifying and time trials are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. The Mopar Hemi Challenge is expected to kick off at 1 p.m., and the JEGS Top Dragster Showdown at 2 p.m. There is also a jet car exhibition set for 3 and 6 p.m.

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