Statistically speaking, the 2004 season was not a great one for Jeg’s Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin simply because former two-time NHRA POWERade champ did not win a Pro Stock race for the first time since making his professional debut in 1997. However, in this case, the statistics don’t tell the whole story as Coughlin is actually pleased with his 2004 campaign and is even more excited about returning to action in 2005.

Said Jeg, “I actually had a very good year in 2004. Pro Stock has never been more competitive and I believe a sixth-place finish is quite an accomplishment. I’ve got nothing to complain about.

“We also celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Jeg’s Foundation last year,” Jeg continued. “That was a major milestone for us. We’re actually coming up on the two-year anniversary in March and in that time; we’ve raised several million dollars for cancer research. The entire Jeg’s team is very proud of that.”

Jeg became one of the biggest stars at the 50th anniversary Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indy last September when he accepted an invitation to drive Michael Ogburn’s ’68 Barracuda in the prestigious Mopar Performance Hemi Shootout, a special high-profile event for Super Stock competitors in the popular SS/AA class. Though he had never driven Ogburn’s car before Indy, Jeg quickly adapted and went on to win the event, earning a $10,000 bonus for his final round victory over Rick Houser.

“Winning the Hemi Challenge was easily the highlight of my year, on the track,” Jeg recalled. “That car was so much fun to drive and I’m very grateful for Michael and [crew chief] Harry Holton for letting me drive their car. I’d definitely like to compete in that race again this year.”

Jeg’s victory in the Hemi Challenge at Indy helped set the stage for 2005, when he will join Don Schumacher Racing behind the wheel of a Dodge Stratus, which will be tuned by Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden.

“At Indy, the folks at Mopar were great to work with, and we had some discussions about putting this [Pro Stock] deal together,” Jeg said. “I’m excited to be a part of Team Schumacher, and working with Bob is going to be a great experience. We’ve already run the car in a test session and even though this team is still in its infancy, I believe we’ll be in the thick of things right from the start.

“Bob is just brilliant to work with. His ten championships and 85 national event wins speak for themselves. The first time I sat in our new Stratus, I wasn’t totally comfortable. Bob went right to work, moving things around and making adjustments. Within an hour, he had the car set up the way we wanted it and we were able to make some very competitive runs. You learn very quickly that there is no wasted motion with Bob, he gets right to work and gets the job done. I have a great amount of respect for him.”

Though Jeg will be in a Dodge for the first time in 2005, his longtime fans need not worry as the car will still carry the familiar yellow and black Jeg’s Mail Order paint scheme.

“Jeg’s Mail Order will celebrate its 45th year in business in 2005,” Jeg said. “I’m very optimistic that this will be another great year for our company and for our race team. I can’t wait to get started.”

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