DELAWARE, Ohio (April 20) — There’s a longtime feeling at Team JEGS headquarters in the Columbus suburbs that family patriarch Jeg Coughlin Sr. has a bit of a magic touch. All four of the Coughlin brothers have asked “Pops” to come and help them at one time or another and the end result is usually very good.

“Pops has a magic wand,” Troy Coughlin said. “He waves it over your racecar and fixes it. Don’t ask me how; but he’s done it so many times we all know it’s true.”

After back-to-back DNQs to start the 2008 JEGS ProMod Challenge, the elder Coughlin finally carved some time out of his busy retirement schedule to join Troy’s team for a test session in Valdosta, Ga. According to the driver, the turnaround was nothing short of amazing, which has the team pumped up for the upcoming race at Atlanta Dragway.

“We switched to a supercharged powerplant this year that we got from Brad Anderson,” Coughlin reported. “Obviously, they’re very successful with their two cars (driven by Jay and Shelly Payne) and Brad very graciously helped us get started. We basically set our car up just like his. The problem, we discovered, is that the chassis’s are different, and his way of doing things just wouldn’t agree with our racecar.

“We chased several things for the first two races and tested a bunch but could never quite figure it out. Finally, Pops said he’d come help and in two days time we made a 180-degree turnaround.”

Like many racers, Coughlin was unwilling to divulge too much information about the changes his father made but he did let on to the two most significant adjustments.

“The biggest thing was the wheelie bar,” he said. “We had one that was a little too short and not very strong. We put a longer one on there that is so stiff you can jack the rear end up by it if you needed to. The end result is a car that goes very straight every run. It just feels much more balanced and I feel much more in control. We also made some significant changes with the transmissions we were using.”

With two of 10 races in the books, Coughlin is a distant 20th in the JEGS points. But with Joe Baker winning the first two races and everyone else bunching up a fair distance behind the leader, Coughlin finds himself less than 100 points out of the top five, a margin that could be made up in one race.

“Joe is out on an island and he’s a great driver so we’re all going to have to do our part to slow him down,” Coughlin said. “But his strong start has certainly opened up some opportunities for the rest of us to stay involved. Without a doubt our margin for error has decreased a bit but there’s a lot of racing left.

“We’ll start chipping away in Atlanta. I truly expect for us to qualify in the top half of the field and challenge for the trophy come Sunday. Pops is coming with us so we’ll have our secret weapon at the ready.”

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