DELAWARE, Ohio (December 26, 2006) – Due to a number of family and business commitments, Mike Coughlin raced a limited schedule of events in 2006 yet he made the most of those opportunities. The former Division 3 champ made a major change in 2006 as he parked his JEGS Mail Order Super Comp dragster for most of the season and entered the exciting new Top Sportsman class with a Jerry Bickel-built ’06 Chevy Cobalt. It didn’t take long for Coughlin to become comfortable in his new surroundings as he drove the low 7-second, 192-mph Chevy to a victory at the second annual JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals in late July. He also advanced to the late rounds of the Lucas Oil Series divisional events in Beech Bend, Ky., and the team’s home track in Columbus and finished seventh in the North Central Division Top Sportsman standings.

“I’d had a lot of success in Super Comp but I was really ready for a change so that’s why I decided to try Top Sportsman,” said Coughlin. “Now, the only regret I have is that I didn’t build this car sooner because it’s so much fun to drive. Thankfully, I got some experience in a fast door car when we were racing in the Pro Stock Truck class in the late 1990s so my learning curve for this car was pretty short. Jerry Bickel builds a great car and within a few races, our crew here at JEGS had it dialed in. After the first few races, I pretty much just had to get in and drive.”

Though Coughlin enjoyed a successful debut season with his Cobalt, not all of the thrills were on the race track. In May, he performed a long smoky burnout on the streets of downtown Delaware as part of the “JEGS Week” celebration in the team’s hometown.

“That burnout was a lot of fun,” said Coughlin. “We had several hundred people there including the Mayor and to see the look on their faces when I fired the car up and stepped on the throttle was priceless. I’d like to make that an annual event.”

Though Coughlin focused primarily on his new Top Sportsman entry, he also found time to race his JEGS Mail Order dragster in a few Super Comp races, including the NHRA national events in Columbus and Joliet.

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