COLUMBUS, Ohio – The last time Mike Coughlin raced his JEGS Mail Order Chevy Cobalt at National Trail Raceway, he won the Top Sportsman title at the second annual JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals. Now, Coughlin will be looking to continue his successful run at the final Division 3 Lucas Oil Series event of 2006, which will be held this weekend at the historic Ohio facility.

“National Trail Raceway is the home track for JEGS and our family,” said Coughlin. “Over the years, it has treated us very well. I have made more runs here than anywhere else so I feel very comfortable. It also helps that I won the last time I raced here. That’s always a good confidence booster.”

The Top Sportsman class, which is contested at a divisional level in NHRA events, is somewhat of a cross between Pro Stock and E.T. bracket racing. Competitors in the class qualify for the 32-car field on performance, but used conventional bracket racing rules, including dial-ins and breakouts for eliminations. After many successful years in Super Comp and Super Gas, Coughlin made his debut in Top Sportsman earlier this year with his Chevy Cobalt, which was built by Jerry Bickel Race Cars. With performances in the low 7-second range at over 190-mph, it is the quickest and fastest car Coughlin has ever driven. Coughlin is currently ranked 14th in the Division 3 Top Sportsman standings, but has participated in just four races. With a victory, he could post a top ten finish.

“Initially, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel going this fast, but it only took a few runs for me to know that I was really going to enjoy it,” Coughlin said. “By now, I’ve gotten comfortable racing at this level and our crew has steadily worked on the car to make it more consistent.

“We got a late start with this car and because everything is so new, I really never had any expectations this year points wise,” said Coughlin. “Thankfully, the learning curve was a bit shorter than we expected and I was fortunate enough to pick up a victory at the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals. That has been the highlight of my season so far. If I can have another strong outing before the end of the year, I’ll be very content with what we’ve accomplished this year.”

Qualifying for the Division 3 Lucas Oil Series event at National Trail Raceway will be held on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23. Final eliminations will begin on Sunday, Sept. 24.

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