Coughlin will be joined by fellow 2011 inductees Joe Amato, Clayton Harris, Leonard Abbott, Rick Guasco, and Fred Sibley.
“It’s going to be a pretty special deal to have my name alongside some of the pioneers of our sport,” Coughlin said. “I’m humbled and honored to have been selected. I’m sure it will be a night to remember.”
Perhaps best known for the mail order high performance parts business that bears his name, Coughlin was a successful drag racer in his day, competing and winning trophies in a myriad of categories, including Top Fuel, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Pro Stock, A-Gas Supercharged, D-Gas Supercharged, C Stock, C Gas, Modified Eliminator, Pro Comp, and Super Eliminator.
It was Coughlin’s love of the drags from which JEGS Automotive was born, as the young racer originally tried to fill his own need for high performance parts only to discover the huge hole to the Midwest market for hot rod specialty items. Before long, Coughlin’s success on the drag strip led to so many inquiries from his friends and rivals that he felt compelled to start his business. Now celebrating it’s 50th anniversary, JEGS is run by Coughlin’s four sons — John, Troy, Mike, and Jeg Jr.
“I hope all the boys and their families can come to this event because I truly feel like they’re just as important to this whole process as anything I’ve done by myself,” Coughlin said. “Gosh, it’s really something to be thought of as someone worthy of being put in the Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
“You know, you don’t set out thinking about something like this. You just kind of live your life and try to do your best, treat people well, and do the right things along the way.”
After the ceremony, Coughlin will be permanently enshrined at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in nearby Ocala, Fla.
Named as one of the top 10 drag racers of all time, Amato was the first Top Fuel pilot to capture five championships and more than 50 victories. Harris also shined in the early days of Top Fuel racing, while Abbott made his biggest impact on the sport when he invented the Lenco transmission. Guasco was one of the first successful Fuel-Altered racers and Sibley gained notoriety in his incredible line of jet cars.
Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800.345.4545 (#3, ext 412)
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