ATLANTA (May 16) — Jeg Coughlin Jr. became just the ninth professional drag racer in NHRA history to win 50 national events Sunday when he captured the title of the 30th annual Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

The 39-year-old joins legends John Force, Warren Johnson, Bob Glidden, Kenny Bernstein, Greg Anderson, Tony Schumacher, Joe Amato, and Larry Dixon in the “50 Wins Club,” with Dixon collecting his 52nd victory alongside Coughlin at this event.

“It’s very exciting,” Coughlin said. “I passed the 50 wins total a couple years ago, and I thought I was done with 50, but I was reminded here lately of the next plateau, which was 50 wins in Pro Stock.

“To celebrate it here in JEG’s 50th anniversary year is special. I’m blessed to do what I do, and I have some great people around me.”

Including his Sportsman-level wins, Coughlin now has 64 national event victories to his credit, which also places him ninth on the all-time wins list.

This victory came at the expense of Ronnie Humphrey, V. Gaines, top qualifier Allen Johnson, whom Coughlin beat on a holeshot, and final-round foe Rickie Jones.

“We’re just trying to get a car that’s raceable on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Coughlin said. “We’ve had a car that’s been like a soldier: it’s gone left, it’s gone right, it’s gone left, it’s gone right. We’ve told it to go left (and) it’s gone right. It’s been a struggle.

“But at least we’ve been reeling off round wins in the meantime. We changed the car completely before Atlanta and it went as straight as it has the last two or three years since we’ve been with the Victor Cagnazzi group.”

The victory erases the memory of the NHRA tour’s last stop in St. Louis where Coughlin raced to the final only to have his Chevrolet Cobalt break after the launch.

“To pick up a win here today does diminish that disappointment from St. Louis,” Coughlin said. “I admit that when I was backing up from my burnout in the final I thought, ‘God I hope nothing goes wrong.’ In this sport we’re measured by ten-thousandths of a second and nickle parts. Fortunately today we were able to bring home our biggest win of 2010.”

Coughlin won’t have long to enjoy No. 50 as racing at Heartland Park Topeka begins Friday.


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