RICHMOND, Va. (Oct 4) — Jeg Coughlin is jumping back into NHRA competition with a vengeance. Not only is the three-time series champion making his first appearance in his brand-new Slammers Ultimate Milk/ Chevrolet Cobalt Pro Stock car for Cagnazzi Racing, but he’ll also be chasing the Competition Eliminator title at the inaugural Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Coughlin is no stranger to Comp Eliminator having won the Division 3 championship in the class in 1997. That same year he won the Fram Nationals and four divisional races in Indianapolis, Martin, Mich., Noble, Okla., and Phoenix.

In Richmond, Coughlin will be driving one of the cars from sportsman legend Arnie Martel’s fleet — a Jerry Haas-built Pontiac GTO powered by a Charlie Taylor small block. The H-Altered Automatic entry is capable of running seven-second passes.

“Arnie Sr. and I are old friends,” Coughlin said, emphasizing ‘Arnie’ with his best Boston accent in a nod to Martel’s Massachusetts roots. “He bought the car I drove this year in Indy and I kidded him at the time that he owed me a ride. Both Arnie Sr. and Arnie Jr. are running G-Super Modifieds this weekend so the seat in their H-Altered Automatic was open and Arnie gave me a jingle and asked me if I wanted to give it a whirl.

“Of course I jumped at the chance to drive his car. I was planning on driving two cars at each race but I didn’t have time to get everything together for this weekend so I thought I was out of luck until Arnie called. It worked out nicely.”

Coughlin hasn’t driven a Pro Stock car since his win last November in Pomona, Calif., but he has driven a number of sportsman cars this season in various bracket races and shootouts around his native Ohio.

“We’re in it to win it,” he said. “I’m serious about my racing, even though I do enjoy the ride just as much as the competition. This will be an exciting weekend and the more seat time and rounds of competition I see, the better it will be for the team.”

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