BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Aug. 25) — Two-time class champion Mike Coughlin enters this weekend’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Beech Bend Raceway Park just 53 points behind John Scali Jr. in the Division 3 Top Sportsman standings, but he knows that a strong outing at one of his favorite racetracks could turn that deficit into a lead.
Coughlin has only raced at four divisional events this year so he still has one full race to claim the maximum of 95 points should he reach the winner’s circle in his JEGS.com Chevrolet. Scali already has claimed five divisional races so he can only improve on previously posted numbers, giving a decided edge to Coughlin at Bowling Green. In all, sportsman racers can enter eight divisional races, with only their best five counting towards the championship.
“It’s going to be a fight to the end,” Coughlin said. “You know, on one hand I’d love to dominate the class and win the title with room to spare, but the competition in this class is just too good. It’s a fight for every position and every elimination round, and the truth is I like it that way. It’s always such a battle and that keeps it exciting.
“The car’s running great and Beech Bend is a good, sporty racetrack. It always seems to agree with our racecar really well. From what we hear, there could be a cold front blowing in so a great racetrack might be even better this weekend. We tend to run very well when it’s hot, and maybe that’s an advantage at some places, but when it’s cooler we all go faster so we should be able to step up along with everyone else.”
Although not in the points chase in his category, Mike’s nephew Troy Coughlin Jr., or T.J. as he’s known to friends and family, will also be fighting for a win at Beech Bend in his JEGS.com Super Comp dragster.
“I’ve never won a divisional race so that’s my motivation this weekend,” T.J. said. “My dad (Troy Coughlin Sr.) won this same race 20 years ago in Super Comp so I think it would be really cool to follow in his footsteps and get my first divisional race win this weekend alongside Uncle Mike.
“I’m feeling great and my driving has been good. I’ve run a bunch of bracket races this year and done well so I know I have the car. I go into every race expecting to win and Bowling Green is no exception.”
Qualifying action begins Friday morning.
Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800.345.4545 (#3, ext 412)