BIRCH RUN, Mich. (June 13) – JEGS.com driver Cody Coughlin is learning a lot about the value of perseverance this season.
The defending Howie Lettow Memorial Rookie of the Year on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour has shown plenty of speed in his No. 1 JEGS.com Chevrolet. But his finishes don’t represent how well Coughlin has run in 2012.
Coughlin and the JEGS.com team hope to turn that trend around this weekend at Dixie Motor Speedway, which hosts the Auto Value Parts Stores & Certified Service Centers 100 presented by JEGS on Friday night.
The 16-year-old Coughlin posted his first top-five finish last year at Dixie, a good omen for this weekend’s race.
“The Bible talks a lot about perseverance and how important that is to your faith,” Coughlin said. “The same can be said for racing, too. We’ve run pretty well this year, but we don’t have the finishes to show for it yet. But we’re not going to give up. We’re going to keep working hard and keep doing our best, and I know the results will come. Maybe this weekend, our finish will show what we know we can do.”
Coughlin has qualified in the top 10 in all four JEGS/CRA races this season, including third at the first two events. But issues outside his control kept him from top finishes in the opening two events.
In the most recent race at Columbus, his home track, Coughlin qualified eighth and drove well in moving up through the field to contend for the victory. Late in the race, he was running third when he made accidental contact with the second-place car, and series officials penalized him for rough driving. He finished 12th, but still moved into the top 10 in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour points standings.
“We can’t look back this year and worry about what’s happened,” Coughlin said. “We can only look forward and that’s what we’re doing. I know Butch (VanDoorn, crew chief) and the guys have put together a great race car for me and I’m going to do my best to get them the finish they deserve at Dixie. We ran pretty well there last year and that gives me some confidence heading into this weekend.”
Coughlin and the team race Friday in the 100-lap event at Dixie, a quarter-mile facility. The JEGS.com team tested at Columbus this week in preparation for the event.
“We ran really solid in Columbus,” Coughlin said. “We just had a little bit of an unfortunate event at the end, but we for sure were going to get a top-three, and I honestly think we could’ve gotten the win.
“Whatever happens this weekend, I’m glad to be able to spend it with my family on Father’s Day. My dad has been a big influence on my life and my career, and so has my mom. I’m happy they’ll be with me this weekend, along with my sister Kennedi.”
Cody and Kennedi will swap roles on Saturday, as Kennedi will be performing in the Skate for Hope charity event at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. With Cody cheering her on, Kennedi will pair with Rockne Brubaker, a national champion pairs skater, as part of the show.
Skate for Hope is a fund-raiser for breast cancer research.
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