DELAWARE, Ohio (January 2, 2007) – After finishing a respectable seventh in his first season in the NHRA North Central Division Top Sportsman standings, Mike Coughlin heads into the 2007 season with a goal of challenging for the series championship. Coughlin debuted his JEGS Mail Order Chevy Cobalt in late April and found the winner’s circle a short time later when he claimed his tenth career national event win at the Jegs NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals at National Trail Raceway.

Although his Cobalt currently runs in the low 7-second zone at speeds of over 190-mph, Coughlin has decided to fuel his “need for speed” with a new engine program for the 2007 season.

“Everyone else in the Top Sportsman class is working to improve their program so I thought it was necessary for us to step up as well,” said Coughlin. “We need a new engine in order to run a little quicker, although I’m not sure yet who will be supplying it. No matter what I decide to do, I am hoping that we can get the car to run in the 6.8s at a little over 200-mph. That should help us qualify in the top eight at every race.

“Even though Top Sportsman is essentially a fast bracket race, it’s an advantage to have the quickest car in the field because you get to leave [the starting line] last and chase your opponent,” Coughlin said. “Last year, I got a taste of driving a fast car and I really enjoyed it so I’m looking forward to running even quicker this season.”

Business and family commitments will once again limit his schedule to about 8-10 events, Coughlin plans to race in all of the North Central Division Lucas Oil Series events and the two JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals events in Belle Rose, La., and Columbus. His first event will be the traditional Division 3 opener at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, April 13-15.

“Right now, my plan is to make a serious run at the Top Sportsman championship,” said Coughlin. “I might also bring my dragster out for a couple of Super Comp races if time permits.”

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