HEBRON, Ohio (Jan. 29) — JEGS.com racer Makenna Brown arrived at Saturday evening’s National Trail Raceway Awards Ceremony knowing she would collect one trophy and hoping she’d earn another. Little did she know, the 11-year-old granddaughter of Hall of Famer Jeg Coughlin and his wife Sue would leave the banquet hall with three pieces of hardware.
Brown first picked up her hard-earned Jr. Dragster 2 track championship, which she claimed by the slenderest of margins over Nicholas Altenbach. She was then recognized as Most Improved Jr. Dragster Driver, a special honor voted on by her fellow racers.
But that wasn’t all. Brown also was presented with a custom-made trophy from her grandparents that noted her being the first Jr. Dragster Champion and the first Female Champion for Team JEGS.
“Winning the track championship was very special to me in many ways because I know how much goes into it,” Brown said. “Just to be nominated for Most Improved Jr. Dragster Driver next to Dustin Eveland and Michael Ruark was another big honor so to actually win that one as well was another dream come true.
“The award that left me speechless was the one from Pappy and Nanny. It’s almost impossible to put into words how that made me feel. It says I was the first female driver from JEGS to win a championship and that means so much to me.”
In 13 races, Brown won three times and was runner-up once. By season’s end, she was one-point clear of Altenbach.
“It was a lot of hard work but so much fun,” Brown said. “I love drag racing. It was my first full season and I got to see exactly what all goes into winning a championship. Everything counts — the months and days or preparation, each round of racing and every thousandths of second. In the end it all came down to one point.
“It was really nice to be celebrate this accomplishment with all my family, friends and everyone from National Trail Raceway. Pappy and Nanny weren’t here but they attended via Facetime, which was very neat!”
As much as Brown enjoyed the evening, she knows a new season isn’t far away and preparations are already underway.
“I am counting the days,” she said. “I’ve been playing a lot of hockey, which I love, but nothing compares to drag racing.
“For 2012, my plan is simple — We’ll take it one round at a time, just like we did last year. I want to continue to make my family proud of me and continue the winning tradition of JEGS. I know I’m going to have a lot of fun. Everyone knows I always have a smile on my face because it’s so much fun. My nickname is Smiley. I think we all say the same thing to the 2012 season, bring it!”
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JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
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