COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 15) — Grand Marshall Jeg Coughlin Sr. is having a grand time at the fifth annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion presented by SoffSeal, which takes place this weekend at Coughlin’s home track of National Trail Raceway in nearby Kirkersville.

Coughlin’s already been busy with his official duties, cutting the ribbon to open the race weekend in Columbus at the Airport Marriott Hotel, leading a hot rod cruise through the streets of his hometown, and hosting a huge party at the expansive JEGS Mail Order compound in Delaware.

“The ribbon-cutting ceremony was great,” said Coughlin, who started JEGS in 1960 with a small speed shop on 11th Avenue. “They fired-up the Jade Grenade Nostalgia Top Fuel dragster and got everyone excited. Then we all loaded up into some old street rods and drove through the back roads over to our shop. There must have been 100 or more cars. It was really something to see.”

Guests were greeted by many employees of JEGS Mail Order and their families, and food and drinks were served as many people took the opportunity to tour the massive mail order facility and nearby race shop.

“The most fun was catching up with everyone,” Coughlin said. “It was like a big family reunion. There were some people I thought I’d never see again that popped up and of course story-telling was top priority. What a grand time!”

Friday, the action moved to National Trail where Coughlin was impressed by the overwhelming crowds of fans and competitors.

“I wasn’t prepared for the turn-out,” he said. “It’s been fantastic. There are somewhere around 460 racecars, all pre-1972 models, and more than 500 street cars, also pre-1972. This is a huge event and the organizers have done a wonderful job at putting it together. It’s a real honor to be the Grand Marshall.”

Up next for Coughlin is Friday evening’s Hot Rod Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony where John Abbott, Don Cain, Ted Harbit, Fred Hurst, and the team of Gary Rupp and Pat Dakin will be honored. Frank Hawley will also receive the Justice Bros. Reunion Spotlight for his contributions to the sport.

“I know all those guys and raced against some of them,” Coughlin said. “I couldn’t be happier for all of these deserving pioneers. This whole deal has been great so far. I’m having the time of my life.”

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