PHOENIX (Feb. 23) — International recording artists O.A.R. (of a revolution) we’re special guests of three-time and reigning NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. and his race team Saturday at Firebird International Raceway. Just days before their much-anticipated concert tour of Australia, the five band members of the group were awed and amazed by their first live experience with professional drag racing.

“I don’t think anything can prepare you for the noise and the feeling of seeing this cars run up close,” bassist Benj Gershman said. “To stand up there on the starting line is a buzz. It’s like nothing I’ve experienced before.”

Gershman, along with lead singer Marc Roberge, lead guitarist Richard On, and saxophonist Jerry DePizzo were celebrating the upcoming nuptials of drummer Chris Culos. As part of their “boys weekend” they elected to visit Team JEGS and enjoy their first drag race. DePizzo hails from Columbus, Ohio, the hometown of JEGS Mail Order.

“We’re all car guys to a certain degree,” DePizzo said, “and we all like racing. I’d have to say that watching this on ESPN2 doesn’t do it justice. I mean, it’s cool on TV but you have to be here to totally get it. This has been an awesome experience.”

Coughlin, one of only 12 races with 50 or more national event wins, was proud to show off the sport for his new friends.

“It’s always a pleasure to have friends at the track and it’s even better when you can show someone their first drag race,” Coughlin said. “I had a nice cheering section when I made my pass there and then we kept them up there for a little Nitro baptism and they really liked that. They’re used to loud noises at concert but I think we raised it up a few more notches today.”

Photo cutline: O.A.R. band members, from left, Benj Gershman, Richard On, Jerry DePizzo, Marc Roberge, and Chris Culos get and up close look of Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s Chevrolet Cobalt.

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