RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 10) — Three-time NHRA champion Jeg Coughlin hasn’t raced a Pro Stock car since he won the Auto Club NHRA Finals 11 months ago in Pomona, Calif. He was all set to go last Friday at Virginia Motorsports Park, where he was to debut his brand-new Slammers Ultimate Milk/ Chevrolet Cobalt for team owner Victor Cagnazzi.

Mother Nature, however, had a different plan.

A pesky but relentless rain turned VMP into a quagmire for two straight days and event organizers finally had to pull the plug on the inaugural Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals to give the parking lots and anxious fans a chance to dry out. NHRA quickly rescheduled the race for this coming weekend, Oct. 13-15, giving Coughlin a chance to reflect on his latest endeavor.

“I’m absolutely ready to get in my racecars and make some passes in competition,” said Coughlin, who will be competing in Pro Stock and Competition Eliminator when the race resumes. “But as anxious as I am to race, I fully support the decision by the NHRA to postpone the race. These fans have waited a long time to see the best drag racing in the world and they deserve a full weekend of activities.”

The NHRA last visited VMP in 2000. It was at that event that Coughlin scored his first professional-level victory at the Richmond-area racetrack.

“We’re the defending champs!” Coughlin said with a laugh. “Obviously, a lot has changed since then but the fond memories I have of this facility remain. I’d love to get back into the Pro Stock class with a big bang and defend that title but just being here is already a thrill. Nothing gets my blood pumping like race weekends.”

Coughlin will make two qualifying passes in Arnie Martel’s Competition Eliminator entry at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Friday before the opening rounds of Pro Stock qualifying, which are scheduled for 3 and 6 p.m.

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