LAS VEGAS (Feb. 3) — Five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. is headed to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for a quick tune-up to the 2010 Full Throttle Drag Racing season, which begins Feb. 11-14 in Pomona, Calif.
Coughlin, the most prolific driver on tour in 2009 with seven national event wins and 13 races atop the championship standings, will be fine-tuning his reworked JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt Pro Stock car and a new JEGS.com Dodge Challenger Stock Eliminator hot rod at the fifth annual Las Vegas Pro Stock Showdown.
“I’m excited to get back in a racecar and get that feeling back,” Coughlin said. “This will actually be the third test of the off-season for the team but my buddy Richie Stevens filled in for me before so this will be my first time back in the cockpit since last November. It definitely gets your blood pumping.
“Our team owner Victor Cagnazzi, crew chiefs Roy Simmons and Tummy Utt, car builder Todd Bevis, and everyone else at Victor Cagnazzi Racing have been working around the clock this off-season to get the car and motors where they need to be. We were thrilled with our effort last year until the playoffs started and we fell back at bit. That didn’t sit well with anyone and it’s been a motivating factor for all of us.”
In earlier testing in Florida, Stevens guided Coughlin’s car through several 6.5 and 6.6 second passes. He was usually the quickest of each session at a test that included most of the top teams in the sport.
“We’ve worked a lot on getting the car to respond more aggressively at the hit and to accelerate faster through those first few feet of the run, which are so critical,” Coughlin said. “Todd and his crew have reworked several areas of the car itself and the guys in the engine shop have successfully developed more horsepower.
“We have a simple goal this year that we think will take us to where we want to be — we just don’t want to have any issues. Of course, that’s easier said than done.”
Coughlin’s Challenger Drag Pak racer also will keep him busy at numerous races this year, and he’ll be an active supporter of fiancé Samantha Kenny’s Super Comp efforts as well.
“We’re going to be at the strip a lot this year and that suits us well because we love racing,” Coughlin said. “My nephew Troy Jr. will be racing with us at times and his dad, my brother Troy Sr., is running all 10 Pro Mod races so it will be a real family affair in 2010. Of course, Pop will be around quite a bit as well.
“It all starts this weekend in Vegas. This is an important test for all of us and it really gets you up to speed for Pomona. We’ve won the Vegas Showdown in the past and we’d love to do it again.”
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