NORWALK, Ohio (May 16) – Making his debut the very competitive Comp Eliminator class, John Coughlin wheeled his Chevy Cobalt to a runner-up finish at the B’Laster Cavalcade of Stars presented by Budweiser in Norwalk, Ohio. After qualifying fourth in the 32-car field, Coughlin advanced to the final round of the North Central Division Lucas Oil Series race, where he lost to Rick Brown of Lebanon, Ohio by a razor-thin margin of just two-thousandths of a second. After an even start, John raced to an 8.18 on the 8.70 C/SM index but came up inches short against Brown who drove his B/TA Chevy S-10 truck to an 8.19 on his 8.72 index.
“I’m very excited about the getting to the final but I really, really wanted to win,” said Coughlin. “I made a mistake in the final and short-shifted first gear by 200 rpm and that almost certainly cost me the win but it’s hard for me to get too upset about it. I’m still getting the hang of this new set-up. My guys, [crew chief] Jeff Taylor, Rick Rossiter and Tim Freeman worked hard to get this program up and running and we’ve made a lot of progress in a short. My dad [Jeg Coughlin Sr.] was in Atlanta with my brother, Jeg, but he was also able to give us a lot of valuable tuning advice over the phone.”
Coughlin also competed in the Top Dragster class at the Norwalk event but came up on the losing end of an even closer race in round two, losing to Lynn Ellison by one ten thousandth of a second, making the race a virtual dead-heat. Coughlin, the reigning North Central Division Top Dragster champion, is attempting to earn a berth in the upcoming JEGS Allstars event in Joliet, Ill., June 5.
“I couldn’t believe I lost that race in Top Dragster but that’s the way it goes sometimes,” Coughlin said. “Now, I just need to do well next week at the [rain-delayed] Indy [Lucas Oil Series] race. Overall, I had a good weekend so I’m definitely looking to get back out there as soon as possible. Thankfully, we only have to wait until next weekend.”
Coughlin’s brother, Mike, qualified in the top half of the field in the Top Sportsman class with his Chevy Cobalt and won his opening round race against Gary Wojnowski, but his bid for a victory ended after he suffered a hip injury in the pit area and was unable to return for his round two race against Ronnie Proctor. 

In the Super Comp class, Team JEGS was represented by third generation racer Troy “T.J.” Coughlin Jr. and Samantha Kenny, the fiancée of five-time NHRA champion Jeg Coughlin, who drove to his 50th NHRA Pro Stock title Sunday at Atlanta Dragway. In Norwalk, T.J. drove his dragster to a round four finish before losing to Dave Dahlem while Kenny was defeated in round three by T. J. Schippling. 

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