OVID, Mich. (Aug. 31) – JEGS Chevrolet driver Cody Coughlin returns to familiar territory for one of the few times in his young career when he races in Saturday’s Big O Classic 100 presented by JEGS.com at Owosso Speedway.
Coughlin, 15, is the leading rookie on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour presented by GM Performance Parts, and is racing at most of the tracks on the circuit for the first time. But he drove a Late Model at the 3/8ths-mile Owosso track last year, giving him some familiarity with the facility.
“It means a lot because you know what to expect,” Coughlin said. “You know the lines, the basics about the track so you don’t have to learn the whole thing from scratch once you get there. You kind of have an idea of where you need to be, where you need to turn in, where you need to pick up the gas.
“I’ll still need a little refresher time to be able to get back in the groove. But it’s going to be a lot easier learning curve than, say, going to Winchester for the first time.”
For that reason, Coughlin has high hopes of winning on JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour for the first time this season. He finished second at Rockford Speedway two races ago and was sixth in the series’ most recent race, at Winchester Speedway.
“I don’t see any reason why we can’t run in the top three,” Coughlin said. “I definitely think we’ll have a good shot at it. I adapted to the track nicely last year, and I have a really good feeling about this place. If we can get a win, that would be great. I don’t see why we can’t. We’re capable of it, for sure.”
Owosso’s 3/8ths-mile track includes progressive banking in the turns, allowing side-by-side racing. But Owosso can also be difficult on tires.
“I like it. It’s a pretty neat track,” Coughlin said. “There’s nothing too different about it, but I like it. There are two grooves there, so that produces some good racing. It is hard on tires, so you have to go into tire-conservation mode when you’re racing. But it’s a fun little racetrack. I look forward to going back there.”
Coughlin said he’ll try to spend the first half of the 100-lap race trying to be easy on his tires so the JEGS Chevrolet can be strong in the last 50 laps.
“Last year, it was about getting laps for me,” Coughlin said. “I didn’t think much about the tire conservation. But from what I hear, it’s not as bad as some other tracks. You don’t need to do anything unnecessary for the first 50 laps. You need to run your line and be smooth, and you’ll be all right.”
Coughlin sits eighth in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour points standings, but is only 20 points out of fifth place in a tight battle inside the top 10.
He leads the Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year Award presented by Howe Racing by a wide margin.
“I thank the Lord every day for my family and for the opportunity he’s given all of us,” Coughlin said. “I sure do appreciate my mom and dad and my sister being able to come to races and support me. Without them, I wouldn’t be here, that’s for sure.”
The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour will have two 30-minute practices, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, with qualifying slated for 6:15 p.m. The night’s racing program begins at 7 with local heat races.
JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour drivers will participate in an autograph session before the Big O Classic 100 begins.
Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800.345.4545 (#3, ext 412)