HEBRON, Ohio (Sept. 21) – Since 1990, the Coughlin family has combined to win 11 NHRA national event titles at National Trail Raceway, the historic hometown facility located just outside Columbus. With multiple entries in action at this weekend’s JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals, there is a good chance they will soon be adding to their collection.
At the center of the JEGS Mail Order effort will be Mike Coughlin, who is pursuing his third championship in the Top Sportsman class. After posting two victories earlier this season, Coughlin is currently second in the North Central Division standings, just one point behind leader John Scali.
This weekend, Coughlin will have two opportunities to earn points as he’s also scheduled to drive his 210-mph Chevy Cobalt in Thursday’s re-run of the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event postponed by rain in July.
“I’m more ready than I’ve ever been,” Coughlin said. “I understand what it takes to race at National Trail Raceway. This is my home track and I love racing here. We’ve had a lot of good success over the years and we just need to have one or two good races and it will really help as far as the championship goes.
“We didn’t make any changes to the car since the last race except for a new set of tires. It’s all ready to go and I feel really good about this weekend.”
Another driver with lofty goals for this weekend’s event is five-time NHRA champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., who will be pulling double duty behind the wheel of his JEGS.com Super Comp dragster and his yellow and black DragPak Challenger Stock Eliminator car.
Earlier this year, Jeg won the Super Comp title at the JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals in Fontana, Calif., so if he can pull off a similar feat this weekend he will become just the second driver in history to claim the elusive JEGS Crown trophy.
“I haven’t raced Stock Eliminator since last June, but I’m excited to get back behind the wheel of my Challenger,” Jeg said. “I really enjoy driving that car. It’s always been a goal to win a race in Stock and I’d love for it to happen this weekend.
“Of course, I’d also love to win in Super Comp this weekend. Winning two of the three [JEGS SPORTSnationals] races is a tall order but it’s a good goal to have. It goes without saying that I’d love to win the JEGS Crown for doing so. That would be a very special honor.”
The Super Comp field will also include Jeg’s new bride, Samantha, who turned in an impressive performance at the recent Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, where she raced deep into Monday’s final eliminations.
Samantha and Jeg will also be joined by their nephew, Troy Jr., giving the JEGS team a potent 1-2-3 punch in Super Comp. After recently upgrading his NHRA competition license, T.J. is also scheduled to make his debut in the Top Dragster class, driving his uncle John’s 6-second dragster.
“I got to drive Uncle John’s car last weekend and it was a blast,” T.J. said. “The car is much faster than my Super Comp dragster and it’s also very smooth. I’ve wanted to move up to Top Dragster for a while now and I’m grateful that I’m actually going to get a chance to do it. I still enjoy Super Comp but this is going to be a nice change of pace. I’ve never raced two cars at the same event before but we’re going to have a lot of help here this weekend so it shouldn’t be a problem.”
A late addition to the JEGS SPORTSnationals field will be T.J.’s father, Troy Coughlin. The past NMCA world champion won’t be driving his new five-second Pro Mod Camaro, but rather his brother Jeg’s Chevy II station wagon as he makes his debut in the Super Street class.
Before embarking on his pro career, Troy enjoyed a lot of success as a sportsman driver including a Super Gas win at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.
Finally, there will be a pair of half-scale JEGS dragsters in action as third-generation racers Jack Coughlin and Makenna Brown are scheduled to compete in Sunday’s Jr. Dragster event. Makenna has enjoyed a very successful 2011 season including a recent victory at National Trail Raceway.
Media Note: Additional information is available at the following locations:
Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800-345-4545 (#3, ext. 412)