However, when the Coughlin clan descends on National Trail for this weekend’s JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals, the mood figures to be a bit more serious as both John and Mike are currently battling for championship points in Top Dragster and Top Sportsman, respectively. John currently leads Top Dragster with his JEGS.com rail, while Mike is ranked fifth in Top Sportsman behind the wheel of his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt. John also is ranked in the top 10 of Super Stock in his own JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt.
“I have two Top Dragster races left where I can claim points so I like my chances,” John said of his chance at another championship. “It’s not over yet but if I can have a good weekend here at our home track, I can really do myself a lot of good. If I have a good weekend in Super Stock I could move up as high as fourth or fifth.
“I feel good about racing in Columbus because it’s our home track and I’m very comfortable here. I’m also driving well in both cars. We recently did some testing with our Top Dragster to make it a little faster and more consistent and it’s working well. As for the Super Stock car, it’s just plain nasty. It is very consistent.”
Although his busy schedule has prevented him from running as many races as some of his competitors, Mike has made the most of his opportunities in Top Sportsman and now finds himself in a position to win the title he last held in 2007. Mike has also had tremendous success at the JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals races, claiming three victories and two runner-up finishes since 2005.
“This is a big weekend for all of us,” Mike said. “We have a lot of work to do but we still have a chance to win the championship. Obviously, it’s getting late in the season and we need to make something happen sooner rather than later but our team has had a lot of success here at National Trail so this would be a perfect place to gain some ground.
“No matter what happens we really enjoy these JEGS SPORTSnational races. For a Sportsman racer, it doesn’t get any better than this.”
Troy Jr., or T.J. as his friends and family know him, will be looking to rebound after a semi-successful outing in his JEGS Super Comp dragster at the recent Mac Tools U.S Nationals. In his first appearance at NHRA’s premiere event, T.J. successfully advanced to the third round of eliminations, but that’s where his weekend ended as his opponent, Chad Lamont, put together a nearly perfect run with a .001 reaction time and an 8.906 elapsed time on the 8.900 Super Comp index. T.J. put together a very competitive effort of his own with a .014 reaction time and an 8.914, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
“When something like that happens, all you can do is load up, go home, and try again another day,” T.J. said. “I thought I did a good job but he did a great job. That’s all part of Super Comp racing. I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy and it’s not but I do feel like I get a little better every time I go to the track.”
Adding some additional excitement to the proceedings will be some of the third-generation Coughlin kids racing in the Junior Dragster category, including John’s 13-year-old son Cody, Mike’s 8-year-old son Jack, and Troy Coughlin Sr.’s 9-year-old daughter Paige.
Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
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