PHOENIX (Feb. 17) — Reigning NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. arrives at Firebird International Raceway for the 24th annual CSK NHRA Nationals riding an incredible streak of four final-round appearances in a row. Coughlin’s run is a big reason why he’s wearing the ’07 crown and is currently second in the ’08 points.

Coughlin closed last season with a runner-up finish in Las Vegas and a huge win in Pomona, Calif., that secured his fourth drag racing world title. After a busy holiday break, the 51-time national event winner returned to Las Vegas in his Cobalt and promptly won the Pontiac Showdown preseason test, before heading back to Pomona for the ’08 season opener, where he finished as runner-up in a field of 22 cars.

“Whenever you get on a streak like this, particularly one that jumps from one season to the next, you have to look past the driver and credit the entire team,” Coughlin said. “Our team owner, Victor Cagnazzi, has hired the best of the best, from Joe Hornick and Stevie Johns in the engine department, to Todd Bevis and his chassis designers, on through to my crew chief Roy Simmons and the group at the track.

“The driver gets all the credit on TV but anyone that’s won races will tell you they wouldn’t be picking up that trophy at the end of the day without a talented team behind them. A lot can happen in the off-season but it appears we’re right back in the thick of things once again, so obviously I’m thrilled with our start to the season.”

In 213 races behind the wheel of a Pro Stock car, Coughlin has 38 victories and 23 runner-up finishes. But for all his successes, Firebird International Raceway hasn’t been particularly kind to the 37-year-old from Delaware, Ohio. In nine previous visits, Coughlin has just one win at the track on the outskirts of Phoenix.

“We’re going to do everything we can to extend this streak we’re on and try to improve our record at FIR,” Coughlin said. “I’ve always enjoyed the track and the people of Phoenix are great to us when we’re there.”

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