NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge
NHRA Mac Tools US Nationals
Indianapolis Raceway Park
Aug. 31st-Sept. 5th
Jeg Coughlin – JEG’S Mail Order / Mopar – Dodge Stratus RT (Pro Stock)
Jeg Coughlin – West Coast HEMI’s / Barracuda (Super Stock)
Troy Coughlin – JEG’S Mail Order / ’67 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500E (Pro Mod)
Pre Race Release
Drag racing champion Jeg Coughlin returns to the sport’s biggest race ‑ the 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals ‑ as the defending winner of the prestigious Mopar Super Stock Hemi Challenge. Coughlin will also wheel his gleaming yellow and black Jeg’s Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T Pro Stocker at the “Big Go,” the longest running national event on the POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Having never driven a Super Stock/A Automatic before, Coughlin entered the ’04 Super Stock Hemi Challenge with the quickest and fastest car in the country, Michael Ogburn and Harry Holton’s West Coast Hemis Plymouth Barracuda. The fast car mixed well with the experience Coughlin gained winning 45 national events and the day ended in the winner’s circle after Coughlin took out veteran Rick Houser in the final by just one-hundredth of a second, 8.790 at 149.80 mph to Houser’s 8.807 at 149.51 mph.
“I rank that win as one of my all-time favorites,” Coughlin said. “The experience level of the drivers in that class and the professionalism they displayed was tremendous. It was quite an accomplishment to end up on top and to be able to reward Michael and Harry for giving me the chance to drive their racecar.
“They gave me the best car in the country to drive. This year we return with an even quicker car than we had before because that same car recently reset the class records to 8.53 and 153.83 mph. It’s an awesome feeling to have the quickest car on the property but there’s a lot of pressure that comes with that also. We’re going to do everything we can to defend our title.”
As for his Pro Stock endeavors, Coughlin continues to search for his first win running under the Don Schumacher Racing umbrella. Schumacher added a two-car Pro Stock team headed by 10-time champion Bob Glidden to his formidable line-up last off-season and the newly assembled group has put together a steady first season together. The only thing missing is a win.
“It’s just a matter of us lining up all the pieces,” Coughlin said. “We’ve had races where we’ve had a great car and I’ve not been the best driver I can be. We’ve had races where everything went right and you just lose by a thousandth of a second. We’ve had races where something weird on the car breaks. That’s drag racing. These things happen to everyone. The winners are the guys that overcome the obstacles.”
Overall, Coughlin could leave Indy with three U.S. Nationals trophies; one for Pro Stock, one for the Hemi Challenge, and one for the Super Stock class.
One year ago Troy Coughlin attended the U.S. Nationals as a fan and supporter of brother Jeg’s racing endeavors. It was an awkward weekend for someone who is used to seeing the most famous quarter-mile in the world through the windshield of a racecar.
This time through, the elder Coughlin brother returns with one of the quickest Pro Mod cars in the world; the Jeg’s Mail Order Shelby Ford Mustang that won the AMS Pro Mod Challenge in 2004 with Troy’s current teammate Mike Ashley behind the wheel.
“Last year was cool because there was no pressure. I was just hanging out,” Troy said. “But when the cars were running you get that anxious feeling. You want to race. To return with one of the baddest cars in the country is pretty awesome.”
Coughlin has climbed to sixth place in the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge series. His car consistently qualifies in the top half of the field and his win in Englishtown, N.J., proves the class rookie knows how to finish. With Indy the 12th race on the 14-event schedule, Troy knows a win here would go a long way towards his goal of reaching the top three by season’s end.
“We’ve got the car to win,” Troy said. “If we can eliminate mistakes, with the car and with the driver, then we have as good a chance as anyone. This is Indy. It’s the biggest race of the year. Everyone will be there and it’s the best time to shine. We want a top-three finish this year and I think it’s within our grasp. No matter the conditions this car goes straight down the track every time. That could be key in Indy.”
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Scott ‘Woody’ Woodruff
Director of Media & Motorsports
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NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series