DELAWARE, Ohio (Aug 26) – John Coughlin didn’t win two North Central Division Top Dragster championships in the last three years by sitting back and allowing the competition to catch up and with that philosophy in mind he has made the bold decision to debut a brand new race car at this weekend’s NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky. When qualifying begins on Friday, Coughlin will be in a new dragster built by Tommy Phillips of TnT Supercars in Mesquite, Texas. The new dragster features the same familiar JEGS Mail Order colors as its predecessor, but underneath the yellow and black colors, there are some significant differences.

“The car looks really great,” said Coughlin. “I was very excited the first time I saw it. The car features a slightly longer wheelbase than our last dragster which should allow it to handle more horsepower. The chassis isn’t painted except for a layer of clear coat, to protect the steel tubing. This car also has a more contemporary cockpit and a lot of black chrome, which gives it a very professional look. Overall, the craftsmanship on this car is first-rate.”
A new chassis design became a virtual necessity when Coughlin decided to use a massive 832-cubic inch engine from Sonny Leonard for power. The engine produces approximately 1,800 horsepower, which is significantly more than an NHRA Pro Stock car makes. Coughlin expects the new dragster to run in the 6.30 range at speeds of over 215-mph, which would put him at or near the top of the qualifying list in any current Top Dragster race.
Phillips, a multi-time NHRA national event winner and perennial championship contender, recently tested the new JEGS entry and posted initial performances in the 6.6-second zone at 208 mph.
“I really like Tommy,” John noted. “I have a lot of respect for him and he has been a lot of help to us with our old program and of course, with this new car as well. I’m very excited to be racing one of his cars.”
John is currently ranked 11th in the North Central Division Top Dragster standings but has not given up hope of winning another championship. He has competed in just four divisional events this season while most of his competitors have run five or six. He is also keenly aware that the next Lucas Oil series victory for a member of the Coughlin family will be the 50th for the JEGS Mail Order team and he’d love nothing more for it to come behind the wheel of his new car.
“In 2007, I brought out a new dragster and won the first race in Orlando, Fla., so I know it can be done,” said John. “This is also the 50th anniversary for JEGS and for us to win our 50th divisional race this year would be huge. I’d love to be the one to do it.”
In addition to his new Top Dragster, John will also compete in Bowling Green behind the wheel of his Chevy Cobalt Comp Eliminator entry and his nephew, Troy Jr. (T.J.), will be racing in Super Comp with his dragster.
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