LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Nov 20) – Following a brief victory celebration at the JEGS Mail Order headquarters in Delaware, Ohio, newly crowned 2007 NHRA POWERade Pro Stock World Champion Jeg Coughlin will be back on the race track this week as he heads for the annual Thanksgiving Bracket Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Coughlin will be racing a pair of JEGS Mail Order dragsters in the high-stakes bracket racing event, which will be held on November 22-25. Although the dragsters that Coughlin will be driving in Las Vegas may be a bit slower than the Cobalt he races in Pro Stock, he acknowledges that reaching the winner’s circle is no less difficult.

“Pro Stock is a very tough class, but from a pure driving standpoint, I’d have to say that bracket racing is just as difficult, if not harder,” said Coughlin. “In bracket racing, it doesn’t matter how much horsepower you have, if you’re driving isn’t up to par, you won’t have any success.”

In E.T. bracket racing, competitors are allowed to select a dial-in, or a performance prediction based on what they think their vehicle should run. Handicap starts are used to equalize competition and the breakout rule in enforced meaning that any driver who runs quicker than his or her dial-in is eliminated. Many times, races are decided by just a few thousandths of a second is it not uncommon for competitors to match their dial-in exactly round after round.

Although he competed in all 23 NHRA POWERade Series events this past season and numerous test sessions, Coughlin’s enthusiasm for racing has not been dampened. In fact, he’s eagerly looking forward to the Las Vegas event, which features four separate events that pay a guaranteed $5,000 to the champion. Coughlin also plans to compete in the Ultimate Gambler event, a winner-take-all race with a $1,000 entry fee. Previous editions of the Ultimate Gambler race have featured a $64,000 first-place prize.

“Due to my busy Pro Stock schedule, I didn’t get a chance to bracket race at all this year and that’s a bit of a bummer because I really enjoy it,” Coughlin said. “I may be a bit rusty, but I’m sure after a few runs, I’ll find a comfort zone. Also, my brothers and I grew up as sportsman racers and we still have many, many friends out here. I’m looking forward to seeing many of them this weekend.”

Despite his lack of practice time, Coughlin remains one of the nation’s most feared E.T. bracket competitors. While taking a one-year hiatus from Pro Stock competition n 2006, the four-time NHRA World Champion focused almost exclusively on bracket racing and enjoyed a very successful season, winning several major titles and banking more than $100,000 in race winnings.

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