MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Oct. 19) – The lure of an enormous paycheck and the opportunity to race against world-class competition has led JEGS Mail Order teammates Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Troy Coughlin Jr. to Montgomery Motorsports Park for this weekend’s 16th annual Nitro Fish Million Dollar Drag Race.
One of the crown jewels of high stakes E.T. bracket racing, the Million Dollar Drag Race offers competitors a chance to win a life-changing amount of money, perhaps as much as a million dollars, for winning a single event.
The Nitro Fish Million Dollar Drag Race features several support events offering a generous $20,000 top prize, but the real attraction is the main event, which boasts one of the largest payouts in drag racing. The entry fee is a stiff $2,000, and drivers who are defeated in the first or second round have the option to “buy back” into the field for an additional $500, creating an enormous prize pool. If 500 competitors enter the main event, the champion will receive $1 million, one of the largest single-day paydays in all of motorsports.
For Jeg, the timing of the Million Dollar race could not be better as he is currently one of the hottest drivers in bracket racing, claiming a pair of big wins just two weeks ago at the Tenn-Tuck event in Bowling Green, Ky. The five-time NHRA champion will once again be racing both his JEGS.com dragster and his award winning Chevy II station wagon this weekend.
“We’re going to give it our best shot,” Jeg said. “I’m very happy with both of my race cars. We recently made a change to my dragster that has made it better, and the Chevy II is as good as it’s ever been. I’ve got a lot of confidence which is important because there are going to be a couple hundred other racers here who have the same great equipment and the same capabilities.
“Between T.J. and I, we’re looking at a minimum of four races with three cars so we’ve got two drums of fuel in the trailer. Hopefully, we’ll make a lot of runs and come back with a couple of empty drums.”
In his only other appearance at the Million Dollar Race in 2006, Jeg drove to the late rounds, where the remaining competitors typically gather and decide how to split a six-figure payout.
“I almost got it done in 2006,” Jeg said. “I had the second-best package of the round and got beat by the best package. That’s typical of big races like this; you have to be almost perfect in every round.”
Like his uncle, T.J. is no stranger to success at big events. The third-generation racer has already claimed a win at the prestigious NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Super Comp and cashed a $25,000 paycheck for his win last July at Atco Dragway.
“This is my first trip to the Million and I’m really excited about it,” T.J. said. “When you count up all the entry fees it’s a hefty tab but I’m confident that we’ll come back in the black. I really like bracket racing because there are a lot of ways to win and a lot of strategy that goes into every race. Of course, a bit of luck doesn’t hurt, either. I’m planning on going to all the Winter Series races coming up in Georgia and Florida, so it would be great to do something this weekend to start it on a positive note.”
The Nitro Fish Million Dollar Drag Race kick offs Thursday with the first of three $20,000-to-win events. The Million Dollar main event will take place Saturday.
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