GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 8) — Reigning NHRA POWERade Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. arrives at Gainesville Raceway for the 39th annual ACDelco Gatornationals on an impressive streak of on-track successes. Currently second in the 2008 standings, with just a four-point deficit to the No. 1 driver, Coughlin knows that extending his strong run of late could put him back into the top spot in the sport’s toughest category.

Dating back to the penultimate race of his fourth championship campaign in 2007, Coughlin has logged two wins, two runner-up finishes, and a third-place result in his Chevrolet Cobalt, an impressive mark by any standard. Coughlin won the 2007 season-ending NHRA Finals and the off-season Pontiac Pro Stock Showdown, came in second in Las Vegas and the ’08 season-opener in Pomona, Calif., and was third-best at the last stop in Phoenix.

“Obviously, the car has been solid,” Coughlin said. “There really isn’t any reason to change what we’re doing at the moment because everything is working so well. The gains we can make right now are done in the dyno room and I know Joe Hornick and Stevie Johns have been working hard in that department.

“It’s exciting to have a car like this under me, especially coming into an historic race like the Gatornationals. This is one of the big ones, the first on the east coast, and a heritage event that I can remember attending as a boy when my dad was racing. It will be a thrill to keep this strong run of ours alive down in Florida.”

One of only 12 racers in NHRA history with at least 50 national event victories — Coughlin has 51 wins in four different categories — the 37-year-old from Delaware, Ohio, has visited Gainesville Raceway’s winner’s circle on just one occasion, in 2001.

“We need to add to that total,” he said. “This will be a big race for the entire JEGS Mail Order race team. Aside from our battles in Pro Stock, my brother Troy is debuting his new Pro Mod car in the season-opening race of the new JEGS ProMod Challenge, which our company began sponsoring full-time this season. We’re also celebrating the five-year anniversary of the JEGS Foundation: Racing for Cancer Research program.

“There’s definitely going to be a big buzz in the air in Gainesville.”

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