Date: March 2, 2018
Event: Stratosphere Las Vegas 200 (Round 3 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile)
Start/Finish: 14th/8th (Running, completed 134 of 134 laps)
LADY LUCK FINALLY TURNS THE RIGHT WAY FOR CODY COUGHLIN IN VEGAS
Coughlin Scores Top-10 Finish at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway
STATESVILLE, N.C. (March 3, 2018)—The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) first annual early-season trip to the Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway is an understandable favorite for driver Cody Coughlin, with the allure of the ‘City of Lights’ as a backdrop to the race festivities. This year's event, however, was about getting much more than a few hands of blackjack and the checkered flag – it was about changing his luck.
Last Friday in the Stratosphere Las Vegas 200 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Coughlin caught a few of the right kinds of breaks. The Delaware, Ohio, native simply kept pushing in his No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet Silverado throughout the race, and with that perseverant effort, recorded his fourth career top-10 finish in 38 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, and second top-10 finish at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Coughlin battled an ill-handling Chevrolet Silverado throughout the night, but fought his way to a hard-earned eighth-place finish.
“Our eighth-place finish was a good step in the right direction for our No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet Silverado team. We ran extremely well, and contended in the top-three for most of the night,” Coughlin said. “A bit of tough luck got us out of pit sequence, and we had to battle back to the eighth-place in the closing laps. Jerry (Baxter), and the JEGS team have done a great job of working to get the No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet Silverado just right – and GMS Racing has proven to be a great team to drive for.”
With his eighth-place result, Coughlin is scored 11th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver point standings.
The 22-year old started the Stratosphere Las Vegas 200 in 14th place on Friday evening, and the caution flag waved for the first of five times 16 laps into the 134-lap race with Coughlin in the 11th-place. Crew chief Baxter decided not to pit under caution, though Coughlin had reported tight-handling conditions of the No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet Silverado on exit of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway turns. Upon the Lap 21 restart, Coughlin advanced to ninth, and he continued to hold that position to the conclusion of Stage One on Lap 30, scoring stage points for the third time of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Under caution on Lap 33 Baxter called Coughlin to pit road for four tires with an air pressure adjustment, fuel and removal of tape. Coughlin would restart in the 11th-place on Lap 37 for Stage Two.
At the end of Stage Two, Lap 60, Coughlin was in the 11th-place, continuing to fight an ill-tempered Chevrolet Silverado with tight-handling conditions. When the caution flag waved, the JEGS pit crew had an opportunity to adjust the handling under the guidance of Baxter. Coughlin came down pit road for four fresh tires with an air pressure adjustment, fuel and a track bar adjustment, and the quick work by the JEGS crew earned Coughlin three positions for the restart for the final stage.
After a good stop by the pit crew, Coughlin was scored in the eighth position for the start of the Final Stage.
Coughlin remained in the top-10 before maneuvering through traffic to the fifth place just one lap after the restart. Continuing his climb to the front, Coughlin posted his fastest lap on Lap 69. When the caution flag was displayed on Lap 73, Coughlin was scored in the third-place. On the restart he battled with the eventual race winner, Kyle Busch, and the winner of the Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, Brett Moffitt, holding his own as he contended at the front. The handling of the No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet Silverado tightened-up on the long green-flag run, and amid the tense racing, Coughlin fell to fourth place, but he was quickly able to return to third by Lap 90. Coughlin remained in the top-five but knew he had to pit one last time. Under green-flag conditions, Coughlin came to pit road on Lap 114 for fuel and four tires for the final stretch of the race. An ill-timed bout of bad luck struck; before the field could fully cycle through green-flag stops, a caution on Lap 120 resulted in Coughlin being scored a lap down. However, he received the “wave around” to get his lap back, and restarted in the 13th place. Again, quick pit work and a good call for tires helped Coughlin get back on track and gain spots as the laps wound down. Making up as much ground as possible, Coughlin crossed the finish line in the eighth-place, his first top-10 finish of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.
Throughout the 201-mile event, Coughlin had the support of Donny Osmond, and Don Osmond Jr., vice president of marketing for Flying Eyes Optics, on the GMS Racing JEGS pit box.
“It was fun having our family friend Donny Osmond at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his first NASCAR experience,” Coughlin said. “He has been a great supporter of my career, and shares the common bond of racing.
“We have a long relationship with Donny. Debbie, Donny’s wife, and his son Don Jr. are great. Overall, it was a really good night – and it was special to share this solid result with friends.”
The next event on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule is the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 on Saturday, March 24, at the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in Martinsville. The FS1 and Motor Racing Network (MRN) will broadcast the race starting at 2:00 p.m. (ET).