DELAWARE, Ohio (June 15) — Having fathered four sons who have since sired a third generation of grandsons and granddaughters, it could be argued that every day is a bit of a Father’s Day for family patriarch Jeg Coughlin Sr., the man behind the 51-year-old JEGS High Performance empire.


But when the real Father’s Day happens to fall on a race weekend, as it does this year with the 12th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway and the JEGS/CRA Allstars Series late model stock car event in Birch Run, Mich., it does add a little extra magic to the proceedings.


“Winning is always a lot of fun, no matter when it happens,” Jeg Sr. said. “It’s just so hard to get these wins, no matter what race you’re attending or what you’re racing.


“To win on Father’s Day would just add a little something extra for all of us, so that makes it special, sure. We’ve been fortunate enough to win on Father’s Day in the past, and had wins on other important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. It does make the celebration that much more fun.”


Coughlin will be on hand to watch four of his progeny attempt to claim a trophy at Bristol Dragway. He’s a seasoned and readily available sounding board for all of his sons and grandkids, and attends as many events as his schedule allows.


His youngest son, Jeg Coughlin Jr., has benefitted greatly from having “Pop” around his Pro Stock camps over the years, something that’s come in especially handy in 2012 as Team JEGS fields it’s own racecar again after starting from the ground up less than a year ago.


“I love working with Pop and racing with him,” said Jeg Jr., a five-time world champion with 68 national event wins. “It’s something I cherish quite a bit. Every situation that comes up, it seems he’s been down that road before. His knowledge base is significant and it’s extremely valuable for the entire team. He helps all of us in his own, non-assuming way.”


Having just added Eddie Guarnaccia as co-crew chief to work alongside tuner Tomi Laine, Jeg Jr. is hoping for a breakthrough win this Father’s Day in his / Mopar Dodge Avenger.


“It’s a special day for all fathers,” Jeg Jr. said. “Being a dad myself, I know how much I enjoy it, and having a chance this weekend to honor my father, who I’m fortunate enough to have with me at most of my races, would be very special.”


Perhaps the most likely candidate to kick-off a Father’s Day celebration in Bristol is Troy Coughlin, Jeg Sr.’s second eldest son. Fresh off a runner-up result at the last NHRA national event in Englishtown, N.J., Troy is one of the favorites to earn the Pro Mod title in the ProCare Rx-sponsored category


“It’ll be a big weekend for me no matter what happens on the track,” said Troy, who has three girls and a son of his own. “Megan and Troy Jr. are in Bristol with me. My dad will be there, and so will my brother Jeg. Any time there’s lots of family around, I’m having fun. We just really enjoy each other’s company and when we’re at the races it’s that much better.


“My two youngest, Paige and Kelly, have a horse show so my wife Julie will be with them but I’m sure we’ll be in touch over the phone and on the internet.”


Troy will serve two roles this weekend. First, he’ll try to win one for his dad. At the same time, son Troy Jr., will be adding some thunder to Thunder Valley as he goes for the Wally trophy in Super Comp and Top Dragster.


“I don’t know what I’d do if I was fortunate enough to win,” Troy said. “I think I’d most likely hand that trophy right to my dad and say, ‘Here, you take it.’ I’m sure he’d enjoy it for awhile, then pass it around so we could all have some fun with it. My dad means everything to me and it would be cool to have another Father’s Day win. We did it in 2005 (in Pro Mod action in Englishtown) and that was quite a day.


“I haven’t even thought about Troy Jr. winning for me on Father’s Day. That would be something. I don’t know if I could be any prouder of that kid than I am already. He’s just been racing so well.


“Wow, that would be special. Maybe we could double up. And if Jeg wins too, maybe we could have a triple-winner!”


Across the country in Michigan, Jeg Sr.’s oldest son John will be watching his 16-year-old boy Cody Coughlin racing the #1 Chevrolet stock car at Dixie Motor Speedway. The sophomore racer has been running well this year in the JEGS/CRA Allstars Tour and seems primed for a big finish, which he says he’ll dedicate to his father John.


“He’s definitely helped me quite a bit, giving me the right tools and the right people to work on the car,” Cody said. “He’s certainly been a big influence on me as a person as well.


“We actually got him a gift for Father’s Day, but I can’t say what it is because he might read this. I know what I’d really like to give him is a trophy, and we’re going to try hard to get it for him.”


Mike Coughlin is having a more traditional Father’s Day with his family in Ohio.


“My 11-year-old son, Jack is playing a couple of baseball games on Sunday,” Mike said. “My wife, Kriss, and other son, Clay, will be in the stands watching Jack play. I’ve always been around racing, so watching team sports is a new experience for me. It’s a lot of fun.


“Of course I’d like everyone to be together on Sunday, but we’re going to be spread across the country racing. We’ll still keep in touch to see how everyone is doing.”


As for Jeg Sr., he’s been lucky enough to experience it all through the years, which includes his own time in the driver’s seat. Team JEGS already has garnered 12 championships and nearly 200 race wins, and it shows no signs of stopping.


“It’s a point of immense pride for me,” Jeg Sr. said. “I’ve always been proud of my boys from the day they were born to right now. To see the men they’ve become, and the father’s they’ve become themselves, it’s more than I could have asked for.”




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