INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 30) — One year ago, Troy Coughlin Jr. reached a high-water mark in his brief drag racing career by driving his dragster to the Super Comp title of the sport’s most prestigious event — the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil.

Now T.J. is back with dreams of defending his Indy triumph, and not even his drag racing aunt Samantha, who recently joined the Coughlin clan by marrying T.J.’s uncle Jeg, is going to get in his way.

“Winning Indy was beyond anything I could have imagined,” T.J. said. “I can’t wait to get back to the track and breathe it all in again. I love that place and everything it represents.

“In order to win this race again I’m going to have to beat the best of the best, and if Aunt Sam happens to be in the other lane, well, we’ll race each other as hard as we can and see who wins. Otherwise, I’ll be her biggest fan. I can tell you she knows how to drive a racecar. She’ll be a tough draw for anyone.”

Both Coughlins have spent the majority of their track time this summer at bracket races around the country. Samantha also took some time off to marry Jeg, a five-time world champion who also loves to race at the sportsman level.

“I haven’t raced Super Comp since the Chicago race (in early July) and it really feels like it’s been ages since I’ve strapped myself in a car,” Samantha said. “I’m so excited to race this weekend and I’m completely focused on what I need to do. Some times it’s good to get out of the car for awhile so you can regain that super-high level of energy.

“Indy is a wonderful place for us because all our dearest drag racing friends will be there and we haven’t seen some of them since before the wedding (on Aug. 6) so this will be a great weekend to catch up with everyone. We’re also thrilled to support T.J. as the defending champ of the race.”

Sportsman qualifying begins at 8:30 a.m. EST, Wednesday, at Lucas Oil Raceway.


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