SEATTLE (July 15) — Reigning Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. has been on top of the drag racing world four times, three in Pro Stock and once more in Super Gas. He also has accumulated 52 national event victories along the way. Bottom line, the 38-year-old from Delaware, Ohio, knows what it takes to win at the top level of the sport.

“We’ve climbed the mountain a few times so we know the journey very well,” Coughlin said. “There are no shortcuts and certainly there are bumps and bruises to be had along the way. The main thing is keeping your eye on the ultimate goal.

“I look at this team Victor Cagnazzi has put together and I see a group of champions. Everyone knows it’s a long, arduous haul that requires countless hours of work and complete dedication. We have that here, from top to bottom.”

Coughlin has a win, two runner-up results, and three semifinal finishes on his 2008 report card and is currently a solid fourth in the points. He enters this weekend’s race at Pacific Raceways just 10 points, or half a round, out of third place, and could reach as high as second if everything falls into place.

Success in Seattle wouldn’t be unprecedented for Coughlin. He won the event outright in 2002 and was runner-up in 2000. Both of those seasons ended with Pro Stock titles.

“Seattle is a place where you can basically let it all hang out,” he said. “The track is just about at sea-level and we race out in the woods so there is lots of fresh air. Plus, we’ve already been in town a few days and the temperatures are right there in the mid-70s, which is about dead solid perfect for Pro Stock cars. I can’t wait to get started.”

Enjoying the Pacific Northwest with his son Jeggie III and some close friends, Coughlin expects to be rested and ready by race time.

“We’re having our summer break right now and enjoying this beautiful city,” Coughlin said. “We’ve got some friends that live here on the lake and we’re out on their boat whenever we get a chance, just taking in the sights. Our yearly trip to Seattle is always a treat.

“It’s given me some time to reflect on what we need to do to contend for the championship again this year. The Countdown starts in five races and we need to put ourselves in the best position possible for that. Then it’s a six-race sprint to the finish. Greg Anderson has been reminding us that he’s the guy to beat at the moment with three wins in a row. We know that feeling because we’ve been there ourselves. Now it’s time for us to return to that level, and it could all start right here in Seattle.”

Qualifying begins Friday at 3 and 5:30 p.m. PDT.

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