LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct 1) – A week after winning his third JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals title in the last five years, Mike Coughlin will try to strike while the iron is hot as he brings his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt back into battle at the 35th annual Doorslammer Nationals at Ohio Valley Dragway just outside of Louisville, Ky. Coughlin jumped from sixth to first in the point standings for the Dart Top Sportsman class following his victory last weekend at his home track, National Trail Raceway and he will now look to pad that  lead with another strong showing at the Doorslammer Nationals, an NHRA North Central Division National Open event.
The Doorslammer Nationals is a unique race in that it is contested on an eighth-mile course rather than the traditional quarter-mile, meaning that drivers have less time to react and make critical driving decisions. Coughlin’s JEGS Cobalt, which covers the quarter-mile in 6.8 seconds at over 200 mph, should traverse the eighth-mile in approximately 4.6 seconds at speeds approaching 160-mph.
“I don’t do much eighth-mile racing so this will definitely be a different experience for me,” said Coughlin. “It will be a challenge but after the way our car ran last weekend, I think we’re up for it. The only real difference between quarter and eighth-mile racing is that the finish line comes up much quicker so you have to be prepared for it. There is a little less margin for error but otherwise, it is not much different.”
Coughlin currently holds a 21-point lead over second place Reed Hughes and is 33 markers ahead of Chris Nyerges and Tommy Turner, who are tied for third. Coughlin can improve his points total by reaching the third round of eliminations while another factor working in his favor is that he has two races remaining where he can claim points while his competitors have just one. In addition to the Ohio Valley event, Coughlin also plans on joining his older brother, John, for a late-season trip to the final NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in November. John Coughlin is the current leader in the Spitzer Race Cars Top Dragster Series. Both Coughlin’s last won titles in their respective classes in 2007. 
“It is great to be the leader but I think we still have some work to do before we can start celebrating,” Mike noted. “Obviously, if I can go to Ohio Valley this weekend and win a few rounds, that will make it very difficult for anyone to pass me so that is my goal. Even if it doesn’t work out, we are going to Las Vegas so I could still get it done there if need be. That is an option but I’d rather take care of business this weekend. My car is running very consistent and I’ve been decent as a driver so I’m very optimistic.”
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