NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 21) – JEGS.com Chevrolet driver Cody Coughlin had one of the best nights in his young career Tuesday, earning his first career pole and finishing third in the 25-lap Pro Late Model race as part of the 46th World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.
Coughlin, 16, has improved his finish each night of the World Series at the half-mile track, situated just 12 miles from Daytona International Speedway. He was 23rd in the opener, ninth in the second race and now third. Plus, Coughlin has qualified first once and second twice in the three races.
“It was a great night all the way around,” the 16-year-old Coughlin said. “We were fast all day. We were fastest in both practices, and it was a special day for me to get my first fast time of my career in qualifying.
“I am so proud of the entire team. We are really putting ourselves in position to contend for a win before the end of Speedweeks.”
His No. 1 JEGS.com Chevrolet was tops in the two practice sessions Tuesday, and then Coughlin earned his first career pole with a lap of 18.083 seconds. He then drew No. 4 for the inversion at the start of the 25-lap feature, meaning Coughlin started fourth.
But Coughlin quickly maneuvered his No. 1 Chevrolet to second after two laps and set out after the lead. A caution came out just past the halfway point, and leader Drew Brannon chose the outside lane for the restart. That pinned Coughlin on the low groove, and he lost one spot.
After another caution, Coughlin started third again, on the inside. With 10 laps to go, Coughlin made a big move to keep third place, and the top three drivers raced hard to the checkered flag from there.
“I am so happy with this third-place finish,” crew chief Butch VanDoorn said. “It was just an all-around good day today. We had good speed all day and qualifying first was a nice way to start the night.
“Cody raced an awesome race and I am very proud of him the entire JEGS team. We are all starting to come together and good things are coming our way.”
Coughlin and the JEGS.com team race again Wednesday night in another 25-lap Pro Late Model race.
“The racing is pretty tough down here, but I’m proud of my JEGS team for their hard work,” Coughlin said. “I hope we can win one of these races, and we’re going to try our best to get one. I’m so blessed to be able to do this and to have my family here to support me. My mom and dad and my sister Kennedi are my biggest fans, and I thank the Lord for them and for the opportunity to race.”
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