DELAWARE, Ohio (May 23) — Two-time Division 3 champion Mike Coughlin hadn't even made it home from the Cavalcade of Stars event in Norwalk, Ohio, when his mind became filled with this coming weekend's JEGS SPORTSnationals at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Kentucky.
"This is a busy time for us," Coughlin admitted. "Actually, we're running three weekends in a row, so we're not even at the halfway point of this particular stretch, but we're having a blast, for sure."
After winning the first Top Dragster race of the year at the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., Coughlin brought his JEGS.com rail to the D3 opener in late April in Indy, where he claimed the pole just before rain postponed the race until later in the year. His next event came this past weekend in Norwalk, where he qualified seventh and beat Mike Scheel and Tim Antinora before exiting in the quarterfinals in a double-breakout affair with Zach Sackman.
"It was a wild weekend in Norwalk," Coughlin said. "Lots of big changes in the weather. We had heat, rain, cold, wind, you name it, and it made it tough on us. Everyone's racing the same track but being supercharged our car tends to be a little more sensitive to the conditions. We just missed the dial in the third round.
"Race day was very, very fast. I would venture a guess that 75 percent of the cars broke out. We did, by -.075, and our opponent did as well, just not as bad (-.022). The good news is that everything worked great, we had no breakage, and we won two rounds, so not too bad."
Coughlin and crew, which consists of Greg Cody, Tony Collier and Dave Raurk, as well as Ryan Micke of ComSYNC, already have his car back at their Delaware, Ohio-based shop.
"We found some things that need tidying up so the guys will be working hard to get ready for a Wednesday departure to Bowling Green, Ky.," Coughlin said. "It's a big race weekend for us, obviously, being the title sponsor of the event.
"The JEGS SPORTSnationals at Beech Bend Raceway Park is probably one of the biggest stages anywhere for Sportsman racing. We get a lot of compliments and feedback on this race and we're always working to make it better. It was a great turnout last year and should be even better this time because they fixed a parking issue that caused some problems last year.
"I'm excited to race Beech Bend. I won my first-ever divisional race there in 1989 in Super Comp, which was pretty cool. Plus my nephew T.J. (Troy Coughlin Jr.) and my niece Paige will be there, along with my son Clay. We'll have quite a group in yellow and black. Hopefully we finish the weekend in the winner's circle."