NORWALK, Ohio (June 26) — The hottest racer in the POWERade Drag Racing Series — Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. — enters his landmark 200th race this weekend as the NHRA tour sweeps into Norwalk, Ohio. The three-time world champion is coming off back-to-back final-round appearances in his Chevrolet Cobalt with a win and a runner-up finish to his credit in the last three weeks. No one is running stronger.

“It’s exciting to be coming home with such a great racecar under me,” said Coughlin, who hails from Delaware, Ohio, just 90 miles south of Norwalk. “Racing in Ohio will always be special to me because this is where it all started for our family. Our home track is National Trail, but Norwalk is a close second, our 1A if you will, and I’d imagine we’ve been down this racetrack more than anyone else in Pro Stock because we often test here. It’s a great facility and it’s neat they get to host an NHRA race now.

“The Bader family loves drag racing as much as we do and they go above and beyond the call of duty to make their facility and their events top-notch. I expect we’ll have a great weekend this time through and hopefully for many years to come.”

A 48-time national event winner, Coughlin arrives at this special point in his professional career with enviable statistics. His 35 Pro Stock wins and 21 runner-up results in the 199 races he’s previously entered translates to one final-round showing per 3.5 races, with victories coming every 5.6 events. His 323-152 race day record yields a winning ratio of 68 percent, the fourth-best ever among racers in all four professional categories.

“I had no idea of those numbers until they were brought to my attention this week,” Coughlin said. “I’ve been lucky enough to have raced some awesome cars, including the one (team owner) Victor Cagnazzi has me in right now. Of course, there has been an army of talented people behind me all these years, none better than the group at Cagnazzi Racing. It’s very humbling, really, to hear those stats.”

Coughlin only hopes to pad those numbers this weekend with a third straight visit to the money round, which will hopefully end in another win. With the continued help of his father Jeg Coughlin Sr., who has offered his insights to crew chief Roy Simmons over the past two events, the younger Coughlin would love nothing more than to score his 49th career win in his home state. (Coughlin’s other 13 national event wins came in the sportsman ranks.)

“We’ll have a huge group of employees up from JEGS headquarters on hand,” the 37-year-old Coughlin said. “That’s always neat to look up in the stands and see a big section of yellow and black rooting for you. It’s happy times for us right now and we’re really finding a way to enjoy ourselves during this incredible journey.”

Currently second in the champion chase, Coughlin trails Greg Anderson by 201 points. Under a new playoff style format instituted this year, only the top eight drivers in the class will have a chance at the title beginning in Indianapolis in late August. The field will then be cut to four in late October with two races left.

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