MEMPHIS (Sept. 29) — With seven national event victories and 14 races atop the Full Throttle point standings this season, Jeg Coughlin Jr. has been the most prolific drag racer on tour in 2009. Yet since the Countdown to 1 playoff began two races ago, Coughlin has been playing catch-up, relegated to second place by his only first-round loss of the season in Charlotte.

Through two of six Countdown to 1 events, Coughlin finds himself 63 points off the lead. A manageable deficit, yet one he hopes to begin erasing at this weekend’s 22nd annual Midsouth Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park.

“If we can gain one round a race then we’ll be right there at the end,” Coughlin said. “That’s a very realistic goal. We had a stumble there in Charlotte but every team has those races. I think we saw last weekend in Dallas that our car is back to the way we like it to be and I’m looking forward to getting back out there.

“Every round is big. We’ve seen numerous races this year where there have been 50-60 point swings so it can all change in a hurry. Memphis has been a great track for us in the past so maybe this will be a race where something big will happen.”

Behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Cobalt, Coughlin won this event in 2000 and 2002. Both of those seasons ended in championships for the 39-year-old Coughlin. He was also runner-up at this race in 2003.

Additionally, Coughlin won the last two NHRA titles, making him the only Pro Stock driver to win the championship since the advent of the Countdown to 1.

“We’ve come from behind in each of the last two seasons and managed to win the crucial rounds down the stretch,” Coughlin said. “It looks like this year could set-up the same way. Certainly we have a team full of people that know what it takes to win it all. We’ll fight hard for every round win left.”


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