For John Coughlin, the 2004 season was defined by a series of close calls and near misses. Driving the Jeg’s Mail Order Super Stock Cavalier, John went to the late rounds at several events, but was unable to seal the deal with a victory.

“Anytime I go to the races, my goal is to win, obviously, so last year was tough,” John said. “I had a good time, but it’s never as good as when you are winning. I finished seventh in the Division 3 standings and was probably only a couple of rounds away from being third or fourth. I lost a lot of close races by less than a hundredth of a second. There were a lot of times when I thought I got to the finish line first, but didn’t and wound up losing by a just a few thousandths of a second.”

John’s lone highlight was class win at the prestigious 50th anniversary Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. In that race, John tangled with west coast heavyweights Jeff Lane and Brad Plourd.

“I was actually kind of nervous, but it turned out to be a fun race,” John recalled. “The 50th Indy is a once-in-a-lifetime event and I’m pretty happy to have a trophy from that race.”

Though he has contemplated a move to Comp eliminator, John has decided to remain in Super Stock this year. Other than some fresh paint and graphics, his SS/CM Cavalier remains unchanged from the 2004 season.

“This is a really great car,” John noted. “It’s fun to drive and it is very consistent. I won a lot of rounds towards the end of the season so I’m going to try and jump back in and pick up where I left off. I am very comfortable with my reaction times, so if we work a little harder, hopefully we can have some better results. I might also run Super Comp at the Columbus national event, but for the most part, I’m going to concentrate on Super Stock.”

With the help of crew members Rick Rossiter and Clint Allerton, who previously worked on the Jeg’s Mail Order Pro Stock effort, and Tony Collier, John plans on beginning his season in Florida with the Mac Tools Gatornationals in mid-March. He plans on competing in eight NHRA national events and as many as all six Division 3 Lucas Oil Series races before finishing the year in his dragster at the Moroso 5-Day E.T. Championships at Moroso Motorsports Park.

In between, John also plans to make time for his 9-year old son, Cody, who is going to be racing in the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League.

“He’ll go wide open on a motorcycle or a go-cart, but when he first saw the Jr. Dragster, he was kind of hesitant to drive it,” said John. “Then, one day he said, ‘Dad lets go race the Jr. Dragster.’ So it’s time for him to go make some runs. That’s something I’m really looking forward to.

“With both of us racing, I’m going to be busy this year but that’s a good thing. “I know we’re going to have a good time. That’s my whole attitude for this season. We’re going to have a have a good time, no matter what happens. Last year was a little frustrating for our whole team, but I know this year will be different. We were just taking a little break. Now, we’re going to make up for lost time.”

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