ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (Sept. 7) — Fresh off an impressive victory at the recently completed Division 3 race in Indianapolis, Team JEGS driver Mike Coughlin will continue his quest for a third championship at this weekend's 50th annual NHRA Lucas Oil Division 1 Points Meet at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
"I definitely hope things keep going the way they've been going because it's been great," said Coughlin, a two-time D3 champion in the Top Sportsman category. "We need two more out-of-division races and picking E-town for one of them was a no brainer. I love the track and I love the fans there. It's always a good time.
"For whatever reason, and to our benefit, Old Bridge Raceway Park sets up really well for Top Dragster cars. It's really smooth in all the right places and just seems to work for the speeds we reach."
Coughlin's Indy win, when combined with his victory at the NHRA season-opening Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., have him ranked sixth in the national Top Dragster points with just three national and five divisional races on his ledger thus far. Interestingly, he's raced in less events than the five drivers ahead of him, setting up the potential for an exciting finish.
"We've got five races to go and the guys just went through the car from front to back to make sure we were ready to go the distance," Coughlin said. "They freshened the motor, the transmission and put on a new set of tires.
"We had the time to go through the car and it was fortunate timing because even though it's been running perfectly they did find a few things that were needing to be replaced. They probably didn't have much life left in them so it was good to find those things at the shop rather than at the races somewhere."
As he left the shop to head to this weekend's race, the finale for the Northeast Division, Coughlin took a moment to thank his extended team, including the guys that stay back at the shop, his race crew and his family.
"Greg Cody, Dave Raurk, Ryan Micke, Tony Collier and Justin Beaver, those are the guys that make it happen for us," said Coughlin, who is third in D3 points. "My three brothers, Jeg, John and Troy all offer so much support. Dad (Jeg Sr.) is such a huge wealth of knowledge for all of us. He always has the right answers. Plus, my wife Kriss and the boys, Jack and Clay, they are my biggest cheerleaders.
"We hope to keep this momentum up and finish strong. It's going to be fun and we feel like we have our own destiny in our hands."