COLUMBUS, Ohio (Sept 22) – For the JEGS Mail Order team, any race at their home track, National Trail Raceway, counts as a big event, but when the event is the annual JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals, it takes on an added importance. This year will mark the sixth anniversary of the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals and the Coughlin team will once again have a large presence with John Coughlin in his Top Dragster and Comp Eliminator entries, Mike Coughlin making his long-awaited return to Top Sportsman,  nephew T.J. Coughlin in his Super Comp dragster, and the rest of the third generation Coughlin racers, Cody, Jack, Paige, and Makenna Brown, tearing up the Jr. Dragster class in their yellow and black half-scale JEGS dragsters.
Fresh off a win at the sport’s biggest event, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, T.J. Coughlin is riding high and full of confidence as he prepares for the Columbus event. Coughlin is currently ranked fifth out of more than 1,000 Super Comp racers world wide and he can improve his position by advancing to the fourth round of eliminations. He is less than 100 points out of first place and can still improve his score at upcoming Lucas Oil Series events.
“We’re on a pretty good roll right now and I just hope it continues this weekend,” said TJ. “Winning Indy was so special, I’m still having a hard time believing that it actually happened but now it’s time to focus and get back to business. I have a chance to really have a strong finish in the points so I need to keep the momentum going. Winning a few rounds would really help improve our position.”
As usual, John Coughlin will be busy with his two race cars. He debuted his new TnT Race Cars dragster in the Top Dragster class at the most recent event in Bowling Green, Ky., and recorded some of the best runs of his long career. The JEGS crew has also been hard at work on John’s Chevy Cobalt Comp Eliminator entry and they believe they are primed for a breakthrough weekend with that car as well.
“As usual, I’ve got two great race cars so I’m optimistic that we can get something done this weekend,” said John. “This new TnT dragster is not only the fastest race car I’ve ever had, it’s also the smoothest. At the last race, I ran 6.5s at over 210 mph and it didn’t feel that fast at all. We made some changes to the car last week and I think it will be even quicker this weekend. I’m thinking that we can run 6.40s at over 215 mph. It’s amazing that the car can do that and still be consistent. The Comp car has also come a long way. Basically, I think I’m still in the hunt for championships in both cars but I absolutely have to get something done at this race.
“We’re also going to have a lot of fun with the family this weekend,” John continued. “We’re going to have all the kids out here running Jr. Dragsters. Even my son, Cody, is going to race his Jr. Dragster after driving his circle track car in the ASALMS series this summer. I’ve also got a new American Race Cars dragster coming for my daughter, Kennedi. It’s going to look like there is a JEGS car going down the track every five minutes.”
Two-time North Central Division Top Sportsman champion Mike Coughlin is also expected to return to competition at the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals. Mike has been sidelined for much of the 2010 season after undergoing surgery on his hip and knee. After a lengthy rehabilitation, he is itching to climb back behind the wheel of his 200-mph Chevy Cobalt.
“It’s been a long summer and I really missed being able to race,” said Coughlin. “Now, I’m just eager to get back out there and be racing with the family again. I’m planning to test the car later this week and if all that goes according to plan, I’ll be racing again.”
For Coughlin, the timing could not be better as he has a long history of success at National Trail Raceway, including three Top Sportsman wins at the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals in 2006, 2007, and 2009. He also won the Super Comp title at the NHRA Spring Nationals, which were previously held at his home track, in 2002 and 2003.
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