NORWALK, Ohio (May 15) – With a standing room only crowd looking on at the B’Laster Cavalcade of Stars presented by Budweiser in Norwalk, Ohio, brothers John and Mike Coughlin are qualified solidly in three classes as the NHRA North Central Division Lucas Oil Series divisional event moves into final eliminations Sunday morning.
In his official debut in the Comp Eliminator class, John has made a strong first impression by qualifying his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt in the No. 4 spot with an 8.137-second run at 160.50 mph. As an added bonus, John also set the official NHRA record for the C/SM record, bettering the existing mark of 8.21-seconds set last year by Division 1 competitor George Supinski. Driving the same JEGS.com dragster that his brother Jeg Jr. wheeled to the title at the recent AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis, John is also among the top qualifiers in the Top Dragster class with a run of 6.5370-seconds that is good for the No. 7 spot. A total of 52 drivers attempted to qualify for the 32 available spots in Top Dragster, resulting in a very quick 6.842-second bump spot.
“Both of my cars ran very well today and I’m feeling pretty good about our chances,” said John, who is the reigning North Central Division Top Dragster champion. “We got rained out at the last race so this is the first time that I finally get to race in eliminations and I’m pretty excited about that. [Crew chiefs] Jeff Taylor and Rick Rossiter have a handle on this new Comp car. It is getting quicker and quicker on each run. I can’t remember the last time I set a national record but I know it’s been a few years.
“Last winter, we made the decision to work on my Top Dragster in an effort to make it a bit quicker and I’m really glad I did because it’s obvious that everyone else in the class has also improved by a lot,” John noted. “The dragster shook the tires on the first run and we made a few adjustments, came back and ran a 6.53, which is close to the quickest I’ve ever been. I’m still only qualified seventh, which tells you how fast it is out here.”
Defending North Central Division Top Sportsman champion Mike Coughlin is also looking good headed into tomorrow’s final eliminations after wheeling his JEGS.com Cobalt to a 6.694 run at over 207 mph to qualify in the No. 4 spot. Mike will be paired with Gary Wojnowski, the 19th quickest qualifier, when eliminations begin tomorrow.
The JEGS Mail Order team is also represented in Norwalk by third-generation racer Troy “T.J.” Coughlin Jr. and Jeg Coughlin’s fiancée, Samantha Kenny, who are both competing in the Super Comp class. The opening round of Super Comp eliminations was originally schedule for Saturday night but was rescheduled for Sunday.
“My first time trial run was good, but the second one wasn’t so great because the car was bouncing around a bit,” said T.J. “I still feel pretty good going into eliminations because I can just take the data from the first run and not worry about the other one. I think we’ll be in good shape.”
The B’Laster Cavalcade of Stars presented by Budweiser in Norwalk, Ohio, brothers John and Mike Coughlin are qualified solidly in three classes as the event moves into final eliminations.
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