INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – At last year’s Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, John Coughlin claimed a win as a team owner after sportsman standout Brad Plourd drove his JEGS Mail Order dragster to the Super Comp title. Coughlin has once again loaned his dragster to Plourd for a title defense at NHRA’s premiere event, and he will also be looking for success as a driver behind the wheel of his own Chevy Cavalier Super Stock entry.

“Last year, I was really proud of Brad for putting that yellow and black JEGS dragster in the winner’s circle,” said Coughlin. “Any time you win a race it’s a great feeling, but winning the U.S. Nationals is extra special. The only thing that could top that is if Brad and I both won this year.”

Plourd, of Maple Valley, Wash., is the son of veteran Top Alcohol Dragster racer and former NHRA Division 6 champion Bernie Plourd. Over the past three years, the younger Plourd has emerged as a versatile driver with NHRA national event victories in Super Stock, Stock Eliminator and Super Comp.

As for Coughlin, he will be racing in Super Stock for the first time since turning in a late round finish at the JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals at the team’s home track, National Trail Raceway. In order to prepare for the U.S. Nationals, Coughlin recently enlisted the help of three-time NHRA Sportsman champ and former Team JEGS crew chief Jeff Taylor, who helped to fine-tune the engine and chassis on Coughlin’s Cavalier.

“Jeff is one of the smartest racers in this business and I value his input,” said Coughlin. “We’ve had a few small problems with our car lately and Jeff was able to work with us to get them fixed very quickly. Traditionally, everyone brings their best equipment to Indy and if you don’t have your act together, you might not even qualify. With the changes we’ve made, I’m heading into this race with a lot of confidence. I not only think we can qualify near the top of the field, but I also think I’ve got a car that can win some rounds on race day.”

Sportsman qualifying for the 54th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals begins on Wednesday August 30 at 8 a.m. Super Stock competitors will hold their class eliminations on Friday, September 1 at 8 a.m.

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