Belle Rose, La. (March 16) – There is a reason why brothers Mike and Jeg Coughlin consider the annual JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals to be one of their favorite races and it has nothing to do with the fact that both drivers are former champions of the event, which takes place this weekend (March 18-20) at No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose, La. It is the fun atmosphere and unmatched camaraderie between racers that keeps the Coughlin’s coming back year after year and in 2011, there will be a swarm of yellow and black JEGS Mail Order machines in action as Mike and Jeg will be joined by their nephew, T.J., Jeg’s fiancée, Samantha Kenny, and Mike’s son, Jack, who will be making runs in his Jr. Dragster during the eighth-annual event.
Jeg, who won the Top Dragster title at the 2006 JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals, plans to arrive in Belle Rose with a pair of brand new Undercover Chassis dragsters, one for himself and one for his fiancée, Samantha Kenny. The cars were completed just days before the event and will be raced following an abbreviated test session at South Georgia Motorsports Park.
“These cars are beautiful and while I wish we had more time to test them, I am confident that we’ll be competitive because we have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t,” said Jeg. “They are very similar to the dragster that my nephew, T.J., runs and I’m very familiar with his car so I’m not worried about being competitive.”
Having to ability to compete in events like the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals is exactly what the five-time world champ had in mind when he decided to take a hiatus from the NHRA Full Throttle series in 2011. Coughlin last raced in Belle Rose in 2006, and is eager to return to Bayou country.
“There is no question that I have missed having the opportunity to compete in events like this one the past few years,” said Jeg. “What I’m looking forward to the most is being able to see old friends and enjoy some of the many post-race celebrations that take place each night. That’s what makes this race so much fun.”
When asked about the allure of the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals, Jeg’s brother Mike doesn’t hesitate for a second.
“For me, its all about the food,” said Mike, who won the Super Comp title at the 2005 Belle Rose event and will return this year behind the wheel of his 200-mph Top Sportsman Chevy Cobalt. “Everywhere you look, someone is cooking up some good Cajun food and there’s always plenty to go around. We absolutely have fun racing and when we’re on the track we take it seriously, but this is also a great place to have fun with the family. I’m also looking forward to watching my son, Jack, race his Jr. Dragster. I do look forward to this event every year. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Last year, third generation Coughlin racer T.J. got his first taste of the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals and he’s eager to go back for more. Once gain, T.J. will be joining Jeg and Samantha in the highly competitive Super Comp category.
“When I came here last year, it didn’t take me long to figure out why my uncles consider this one of their favorite races,” said T.J., who finished 2010 as the eighth-ranked Super Comp driver in the nation. “Now, I’m anxious to go back. I lost in the second round last year so I’d love to improve on that but I’m also looking forward to all the good times we have after the race is over. Having my uncles and my cousin there will only help make it that much more fun.”