BELLE ROSE, La. (April 1) – After spending the winter months savoring his 2007 NHRA North Central Division Top Sportsman championship, Team JEGS driver Mike Coughlin is primed and ready to begin his title defense at this weekend’s JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals. Coughlin will return to No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose, La., with the same 2007 Chevy Cobalt that carried him to three victories and the championship last season.

“Last year was easily one of the best years of my career and if we’re going to improve or even match those results we’ve really got our work cut out for us,” said Coughlin. “Towards the end of last season, my car was just about perfect so we really didn’t feel the need to make major changes. We’ve got a little more power this year so we should probably be in the 6.70 to 6.80 range at about 202 mph, and that should be good enough to qualify in the top half of the field at most races. Other than that, we just made a few minor adjustments and now were ready to go racing again.”

Coughlin’s track record in NHRA SPORTSnationals events is nothing short of phenomenal. In addition to his win in the Super Comp class at the 2005 Cajun SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, he also has a win and a runner-up finish at the JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals which is held at National Trail Raceway in Columbus. Coughlin’s brother, Jeg is also a former Cajun SPORTSnationals champion.

“This race in Belle Rose is a good place for me to start because I really like the track. I like the people, and I’ve had a lot of success racing down here,” said Coughlin. “These [SPORTSnationals] races are great because the sportsman racers are the stars of the show. We really have a lot of fun when we come down here because the people treat us so well. The racing is very competitive but at the end of the day, we’re all friends and everyone has a big cookout and it’s really a fun atmosphere. Of course it’s even better when you can bring a trophy home Sunday night.”

The JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals will take place at No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose, La., on April 3-6. The event will feature more than 600 competitors in eight separate NHRA sportsman drag racing classes.

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