JOLIET, Ill. (June 3) – Top Sportsman driver Ricky Adkins, the North Central Division representative for the upcoming JEGS Allstars event at Route 66 Raceway, will be flying yellow and black colors of JEGS Mail Order this weekend as he has agreed to drive Mike Coughlin’s Chevy Cobalt during the special event. Adkins recently encountered mechanical problems with his own ’57 Chevy Top Sportsman entry and once he realized that he would not have the car ready in time for the JEGS Allstars race, Coughlin was quick to offer his assistance.
“Ricky and I have fought quite a few battles on the track but we are also very good friends,” said Mike, who is at his home in Delaware, Ohio, while he continues to recuperate from recent hip and knee surgery. “He told me at the last race in Norwalk that he might be looking for a car to drive. I didn’t have to think twice before offering to let him use mine. As much as I’d love to be racing in the JEGS Allstars myself, I believe this is the next best thing. Ricky is good enough to win this race and I’d love nothing more than to see him win and for the Division 3 team to win the overall team championship. This is the first time that I’ve let someone drive my car but my brother, John, has done it a few times an he has had a lot of success. Brad Plourd won Indy in John’s Super Comp car and Anthony Bertozzi also won a race in John’s Super Stocker the year he won the championship. Hopefully, Ricky and I can have similar success.”
In 2009, Adkins won the Top Sportsman title at the Lucas Oil Series event at Route 66 Raceway and engaged in a second long battle with Mike Coughlin for the Division 3 championship. That championship was decided following a one-race winner-take-all final round at the Southeast Division event in Reynolds, Ga., where Coughlin prevailed over Adkins in a close final round.
“I got a lot of chances to see this car run last year and I was usually watching its tail lights as it drove away from me,” joked Adkins. “Seriously, I know this is a very good consistent race car and I can’t thank Mike and the JEGS team enough for allowing me to drive it this weekend.”
Although Adkins has never driven Coughlin’s car, he hopes the addition of longtime JEGS crew members Greg Cody and Tony Collier, who will prepare and maintain the car, will help insure a smooth transition.
“I tend to do better when I drive someone else’s car because I concentrate a bit more so hopefully that trend will continue,” said Adkins. “It’s also going to be nice to have crew members who can help me run the car. Usually, it’s just me and my wife, Lisa. Hopefully, I can just focus on my driving. I would be thrilled if I could win this race. It would be the best way to say thanks to everyone at JEGS for allowing me to do this.”
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