NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
NHRA O’Reilly Summer Nationals
Heartland Park Topeka
Topeka, KS
May 26-29th

JEG’S Mail Order / Mopar – Dodge Stratus RT
Jeg Coughlin Jr. – Pro Stock
Pre Race Summary

With eight national events in the books, Jeg Coughlin and his first-year race team, which was formed in the off-season by drag racing mogul Don Schumacher, are doing well. They’ve been a part of the POWERade top 10 for 75 percent of the season and they have a racecar that has successfully qualified for every national event.

But when your name is Coughlin and you have three world championships and 45 national event victories to your credit, it’s hard to get overly excited about anything other than wins and series titles. It’s been that way from the beginning for Coughlin, and now that the POWERade tour has hit the one-third pole, the 34-year-old’s thoughts of running at the top are occupying more and more of his time.

“The first three-race swing is almost over and before you know it we’ll be at the mid-season break,” said Coughlin, who is currently 10th in the championship standings. “We’re competing against the best in the world and that’s never easy, but I know we have a car and team that can hang in there and make a run.

“We’re going to St. Louis to test before this weekend’s race in Topeka. We need to find one set-up that we can run eight times in a weekend and win the race with it. I don’t want to leave St. Louis until we have that set-up. We all thought we’d be a little further along than we are. It’s a pivotal point in the season for us. It’s time to rise up.”

Coughlin unofficially leads the league in close losses. He’s seemingly had more than his share of close races go against him by the slenderest of margins, many times in the thousandths-of-a-second range. But he refuses to offer up and excuses.

“When we won championships for Jeg’s Mail Order, we probably had more that our share of good luck so it all balances out,” Coughlin said. “The thing is we need to qualify better and more consistently and run better on race day so that we have the edge when it comes down to inches deciding a race or a qualifying position.”

A winner at Heartland Park Topeka in 2000, Coughlin enters the 17th annual O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX with a chance to move up as high as fifth in the championship chase. He’s currently just one and a half rounds out of sixth place as the standings continue to tighten.

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