However, if all goes well, Coughlin will be back in Charlotte during the second annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, April 14-17, shooting scenes for the independent film “Shift.”
“It’s an exciting opportunity for me,” Coughlin said. “It’s cool that someone is making a movie about sportsman racers because they truly are the backbone of our sport.”
Written by and starring Randy Spence, “Shift” follows a North Carolina sportsman racer who sacrifices nearly everything to chase his drag racing dream. The storyline follows the main character as his personal life falls apart, he moves into a van parked at a friends house, and he finds out he has an 11-year-old son.
Coughlin will be cast for the part he was born to play — five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. The main character and his son attend a national event at zMax Dragway in Charlotte and meet Coughlin at the ropes of the JEGS.com Pro Stock pit for an autograph.
“Thankfully, I can just be myself for this role,” Coughlin said. “I should be able to handle that. I’ve had the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes stuff with various TV shows during my career, but it’s going to be interesting to actually be in the middle of a movie set. I think this is going to be a lot of fun and ultimately great exposure for the NHRA.”
The scene will be shot on location at zMax Dragway during the national event, pending NHRA approval. The plan is to place Coughlin’s familiar yellow and black JEGS.com hauler and pit setup right into the middle of the Pro Stock area to give the scene as much authenticity as possible.
Spence is a shifter racer himself and he says on his Web site – www.shiftfilm.com – that he’s always wanted to bring his love of drag racing to the big screen. And since it’s been 30 years since the last drag racing film was released, he felt the timing was right.
“During the hot summers of my youth in North Carolina, (drag racing) gave my family something we could all actually agree on,” Spence says. “There is nothing like the smell of burning rubber and the sound of a four-speed breaking loose under the lights on a Saturday night. We could all share in our love for drag racing.
“The wins on the track were few and far between for us, but those times gave us something greater than any trip to the winner’s circle. With ‘Shift’ we hope to share some of that. ‘Shift’ will be a realistic portrayal of the sport we love and the people who know that life is best lived in high gear.”
Production of “Shift” will be completed in late 2011. A teaser trailer can be viewed online at www.shiftfilm.com
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Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
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