CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 12) — There’s no question that drag racing is a big part of reigning Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s life. This weekend at zMax Dragway at Concord, Coughlin is kicking off his title defense by competing in the first of six races that constitute the NHRA Countdown to 1 playoff system. It will be intense.

But as sensational as the action is going to be on Bruton Smith’s new quarter-mile masterpiece, Coughlin may admit to being in a bit of a hurry Saturday as he braces for another passion of his — Ohio State University football.

Coughlin’s favorite college team is taking on top-ranked USC at 8 p.m. Saturday evening and Coughlin plans on being in front of a TV tuned to ABC to cheer on his beloved Buckeyes, who are currently ranked fifth in the country.

As a huge show of support, Coughlin has put a large “Go Buckeyes!” decal on the hood of his 1,400-horsepower Chevrolet Cobalt.

“This could be the game of the year,” Coughlin said. “Ohio State has a tough task ahead of them, traveling to Los Angeles to play the No. 1-ranked team in the country. We’ll be rooting for them from the races and we wish them the best of luck.

“We’ve got a big test this weekend as well with the start of the playoffs so I know how they feel. Hopefully, our little tribute to them on the racecar will get them fired up for the big game. I know it’ll make us feel good.”

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