LAS VEGAS (Jan. 29) — Last year, Jeg Coughlin Jr. captured the title of the preseason Pro Stock Showdown at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and used the momentum of that fast start to charge into the season at full speed. Nine moths later, the 38-year-old from Delaware, Ohio, was hoisting his fourth championship trophy.

If he could repeat that feat again this year in his Chevrolet Cobalt, Coughlin would move even deeper into the drag racing history books and further cement his status as one of the best drivers ever.

Coughlin already is one of the most accomplished drag racers in the 58-year history of the sport. His four Pro Stock championships rank him third on the all-time Pro Stock list and second only to Warren Johnson among active drivers. Across all four pro categories, Coughlin is eighth overall and fourth among active racers. All this and he’s only been racing in Pro Stock for 10 years.

“It’s a tribute to the incredibly talented people I’ve been fortunate enough to race with over the years,” Coughlin said. “You can have everything in the world going for you as a driver but if you don’t have a dedicated group behind you, both at the racetrack and the shop, you’ll never succeed.

“Our team owner, Victor Cagnazzi, has assembled the best of the best and I believe the fact we’ve won back-to-back championships these past two years bears out the fact that this is one of the best teams in drag racing.

“We’re certainly up for the challenge again this year and we’re optimistic we can continue the run we had in 2008. It all starts right here in Vegas and that suits me just fine.”

Coughlin has enjoyed his visits to Vegas in the past. Four of his 41 Pro Stock national event wins have come at The Strip, including last year’s fall event where he set the track elapsed time record of 6.703 seconds while all but securing the title.

“(Track owner) Bruton Smith’s group here at The Strip are obviously very proud of their facility and rightly so,” Coughlin said. “The track surface is always perfectly prepared so we’ll be able to get a great read on what we need to do with this JEGS racecar to start another season on a high note. It wouldn’t bother us at all to win the Showdown either.

“Like any other test session, there are lots of things the guys want to try. We also have a new Cobalt that we plan on putting into service very soon so we might give it a whirl as well. The main thing is to be up for Pomona because we’re only a week away from then start of the season.”

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