DELAWARE, OH. (Oct. 13) — This weekend, JEGS Mail Order drivers John and T.J. Coughlin will be in action at a pair of dragstrips several hundred miles apart as they continue to pursue NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Series titles. Armed with his JEGS.com Top Dragster and JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt Comp Eliminator entry, John will head south to Reynolds, Ga., for the Southeast Division Lucas Oil Series race at Silver Dollar Dragway. Meanwhile, John’s nephew, T.J. will return to Atco Dragway in Atco, N.J., with his JEGS.com Super Comp dragster for the Northeast Division event that was postponed by rain two weeks ago.
Although he has not competed in every event this season, John is still mathematically in the running for what could be a third Northeast Division Top Dragster title but in order to do so, he must win the Silver Dollar event, and then head west for the season finale in Las Vegas and win that event as well.
“I’m still alive but I must win both events,” John said. “Honestly, I’m up for the challenge. We recently tested my new TnT Race Cars dragster and got all the bugs worked out of it. There weren’t too many to start with but the car is great now. I’ve got a fast car that should run in the 6.40s which is really exciting.
“My Comp car is also running well, we just need a bit of luck and I can start winning races with it as well,” John continued. “I’m going to have Rick Rossiter, Greg Cody, Tony Collier and [engine-builder] Jeff Taylor in my corner so I’ve got a lot of support.”
Last year, Coughlin’s brother, Mike, ventured to Silver Dollar Dragway and won the event to clinch the North Central Division Top Sportsman crown.
T.J. is also counting points as he returns to Atco. The third-generation driver is currently ranked fifth nationally and fourth in the North Central Division. And, since he has already won the first round of eliminations in Atco, he is guaranteed to improve his score on both fronts.
“Anytime an event gets postponed by rain, it’s hard on the racers and the officials but we really felt like it was important to go back and see if I can finish the job,” said T.J. “We’ve already eliminated half of the field so if I can win just a few more rounds I can really make up some ground. It would be tough to win the world championship but as long as I still have any kind of a chance, I’m going to go for it. My uncle, Jeg, drove my car last weekend at the national event in Reading and the car performed really well for him and he was able to win a few rounds. Hopefully, I can do the same.”
Like his uncle, T.J. is also anticipating a late-season trip to Las Vegas as he tries to improve his score. Last year, T.J. became the first of the third-generation Coughlin racers to claim an NHRA national event title when he won the Las Vegas Nationals.
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