BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (July 13) – To the racers who regularly compete in high stakes E.T. Bracket racing, there are a handful of event wins that everyone wants on their résumé, and the Tenn-Tuck Triple Crown is certainly one of them.
Held tri-annually in March, July and October, each Tenn-Tuck Triple Crown weekend features three "Big Bucks" races that award $10,000 to the champion and two "Little Bucks" events with a $5,000 winner’s share.
All told, the popular series awards more than $350,000 in prize money each year and Troy Coughlin Jr., is looking to take home a share. He'll have plenty of chances as he is entered in all five events with his JEGS.com dragster.
"The best part of these races is that you have so many chances to win," Coughlin said. "If you make a mistake and get beat, you have a chance to make up for it in the next race. And, if you happen to get in a groove, you could really win a lot of rounds.
"The Tenn-Tuck race has been around a long time and it’s still very popular. I think I’ve been here about 10 times and I can tell you that a win would be huge."
Coughlin will be joined in Bowling Green by his longtime friend and bracket racing partner, Kenny Underwood, and his crew chief Jay Schroeder. Collectively, the three will come up with a game plan for the weekend that includes an analysis of the weather and track conditions and the proper set-up for their American Race Cars dragster, which will ultimately determine Coughlin's driving strategy.
"In bracket racing, it’s all about preparation and execution," Coughlin said. "Every time you go up there, you have to have confidence in your car and confidence in yourself. Lately, my car has been very good and I’ve gotten a lot of good data from Kenny and Jay. I just need to trust them and concentrate on driving the car. Sometimes, I let little things distract me and that’s something that I’m working hard to correct. Again, with so many races this weekend, I will have a chance to work on the mental aspect of racing as well."
Coughlin certainly will have history on his side as the Coughlin family has an extensive record of success at picturesque Beech Bend Raceway Park, including seven NHRA Lucas Oil Series victories. Coughlin’s grandfather, Jeg Sr., won the Pro Comp title in 1975, and his father, Troy captured the Super Comp title in 1991. In addition, Coughlin’s uncles, John, Mike, and Jeg Jr. have combined for five additional wins.