COLUMBUS, Ohio (Sept 30)– Mike Coughlin officially wrapped up the championship in the Division 3 Dart Top Sportsman series by winning yesterday’s JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals at National Trail Raceway. Driving his JEGS Mail Order Chevy Cobalt, Coughlin won for the third time this season when he defeated Tim Molnar of Seville, Ohio in the final round. Coughlin’s reaction time at the starting line was almost perfect and he held on to win by running a 6.97 elapsed time on his dial in time of 6.90-seconds. The victory was Coughlin’s third-straight at his home track, following his Top Sportsman win at last year’s JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals and the Division 3 Lucas Oil Series event held here in July.

“This whole weekend I wasn’t even thinking about points,” said Coughlin. “I was just trying to win some rounds and have fun. We accomplished both of those goals and now it’s starting to sink in that the championship is clinched. This has been a great way to wrap up a great season. For obvious reasons I wish every race was held here [in Columbus]. This track has been very good to me and my family over the years.”

Coughlin was one of eight champions crowned on Sunday during the third annual JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals. The other event winners were Doug Doll Jr. (Comp), Jeff Hurst (Top Dragster), Rock Running (Super Stock), Billy Baker (Stock) Karsten Blume (Super Comp), Michael Sawyer (Super Gas), and Lynn Hoosigian (Super Street).

Running, of Lapeer, Mich., defeated Charlie Bohannon in the final round to win his fifth-career NHRA national event title. His first victory came at the 1981 Spring Nationals at National Trail Raceway. He also won the 1983 SPORTSnationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.

Team JEGS driver John Coughlin, who won Saturday’s JEGS Top Dragster Shootout, reached the quarterfinal round of Top Dragster eliminations and reached the fourth round of eliminations with his Super Stock Cobalt. Coughlin remains the points leader in the Spitzer Race Cars Top Dragster Series, which is contested in the NHRA North Central Division.

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