BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (May 24) — After bagging a runner-up finish and semifinal result in Division 3 action this past weekend in Norwalk, Ohio, Troy Coughlin Jr. heads south to historic Beech Bend Raceway for the JEGS SPORTSnationals presented by Quick Fuel Technology, the most prestigious Sportsman drag race on the NHRA schedule.
The three-day affair, which starts Friday, will feature racing in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Top Sportsman and Top Dragster.
Team JEGS representatives Troy Jr. and his uncle Mike Coughlin will compete in three of those classes, Troy Jr. in Super Comp and Super Gas and Mike in Top Dragster.
"We had a great weekend in the Super Comp dragster so it feels like we're carrying a lot of momentum into the SPORTSnationals, which is great because this is a huge race for the family business, JEGS Mail Order," Troy Jr. said. "Our Super Gas Corvette was strong also, I just didn't do a good enough job getting off the starting line.
"It's taking a little time but I feel like I'm getting back in the rhythm I had in 2014. I mostly raced Pro Mod in 2015 and the regiment you go through at the starting line is so different, spooling up the turbo and hearing all the popping and banging. It's completely opposite of what I do with these two cars. I've been practicing day and night and we started to see some good progress at Norwalk. Hopefully that continues this weekend."
Across the JEGS pit, Mike will try to get his powerful Top Dragster to show the same consistency his Top Sportsman cars of the past displayed when he won a pair of Division 3 championships.
"We're still learning about this new combination that makes this particular car run," Mike said. "It's completely different from anything we've run before, and the challenge of figuring it all out is exciting for my guys, Tony Collier, Dave Ruark and Greg Cody. We've got the new car bugs to a certain extent, and could probably use a little luck, but we're getting there.
"When we get the car to work properly, it's unbelievable. All we need to do is get it to work on every pass and we'll be contending for race wins every time out."
Additional races scheduled for the weekend include the Tim Hebert/Big Joe Hemi Shootout for the Stock and Super Stock classes, the Lucas Oil/K&N Filters Super Shootouts for Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street, the Racing RV's Top Dragster/Top Sportsman Fast Four competition and the C-Tech Manufacturing Comp Fast Four Shootout.
"Mr. Dallas Jones (track owner) has a big bar-be-que planned for all of the racers Friday night and they are opening the Beech Bend Amusement Park and Water Park for us as well," Troy said. "It'll be a great time to just hang out with our fellow racers.
"This race also has some history attached to it because the first SPORTSnationals ever held were at Beech Bend in 1974. We have five of those original winners serving as Grand Marshalls, which will be very cool. It's going to be a great weekend."
Mike added his thoughts on Beech Bend, "It's always been a favorite track for me, going back to when we were kids," he said. "Dad (Jeg Coughlin Sr.) always did well there and me and my brothers loved coming here and going over to the amusement park. It's a giant playground for kids and adults. I love it."
Eliminations in all categories begin Sunday morning with national points on the line. Visit BeechBend.com for more information.