CHICAGO (June 1) — Two-time Division 3 champion Mike Coughlin is ready to score his second Top Dragster win of the year at this weekend's Burndown at Sundown divisional drag race at Route 66 Raceway.
Coughlin enters the race ranked seventh in the North Central Division with just one D3 race in the books. His victory came outside his home division when he won the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., a national-level event.
Last weekend, Coughlin drove his Dan Page-built dragster to a quarterfinal finish at the annual JEGS SPORTSnationals, another national event. The result matched his efforts at the lone D3 race that has been completed to date.
"We qualified fourth and won a couple rounds in Bowling Green (SPORTSNationals) so that was a pretty decent outing," Coughlin said. "We actually made some changes to the car before the race in hopes of finding a little more consistency but to be honest it went the wrong way. The heat and the weird weather we had just didn't agree with what we were trying to do. I actually feel fortunate to have won a few rounds there.
"We've changed everything back to our tried-and-true hot weather tune-up for this weekend. We had slowed the blower down a bit but since it didn't like it we're taking it back to what we know best. We'll have a strong 6.0-second dragster again and we'll go out there and race our hardest this weekend."
In Kentucky, Coughlin posted a 6.164 in beating Tim Paap and 6.170 in a win over Ivey Brannon before slowing to a 6.218 in a loss to Blake Peavler.
"My guys, Greg Cody, Ryan Micke, Dave Raurk and Tony Collier, have all been doing this a long time so they are very adept at making changes like this," Coughlin said. "With the additional help we're getting from Ryan Macke of ComSYNC, I'm confident we can challenge for the trophy this weekend."
Prior to the race, Coughlin and his sons Jack and Clay will be taking in the Memorial PGA Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
"A family tradition," Coughlin said. "I remember my dad taking me and my brothers to this tournament years ago. Now I'm taking my boys. It's a lot of fun to see the pros play a course we have played ourselves."
Top Dragster qualifying will take place at 2:30 and 5:30 p.m., Friday, and 3:30 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations in all classes begin at 8 a.m., Sunday.