BOWLING GREEN, Ky., (Aug 26) — John Coughlin moved a step closer to the inaugural Division 3 Spitzer Race Cars Top Dragster title following his third victory of the season at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky., Coughlin, who entered the event as the series leader, extended his points lead after defeating Jerry Powell of Kokomo, Ind., in the final round. Coughlin was able to take a leisurely 7.60-second ride down the Beech Bend quarter-mile in the final round after Powell red-lighted.

“This is definitely what you’d call a clutch win,” said Coughlin. “I said before this race started that we needed to have a strong showing in order to get serious about this championship and that’s exactly what we did. It was almost 100 degrees out here and sometimes it can be difficult to race when it’s that hot, but my JEGS Mail Order dragster was awesome this weekend.”

The Spitzer Top Dragster Series is a new program for 2007, which is being contested in each of NHRA’s seven geographic divisions. It features a 48-car qualified field of dragsters, roadsters, and other open wheels race cars competing in a bracket racing format. In addition to his victory in Bowling Green, Coughlin has driven his Undercover Chassis dragster to Top Dragster wins in Orlando, Fla., and Joliet, Ill.

There are two Top Dragster events remaining in the season, the Jegs NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals in Columbus, Ohio Sept. 28-30 and the Division 3 National Open at Ohio Valley Raceway in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 7-8. Coughlin’s closest pursuers would likely have to sweep both events in order to pass him for the championship.

“The first time I drove this car I knew it was a good race car and it’s been proving it all year long,” said Coughlin. “It has been several years since I went out on the road and actually competed for a championship and no matter how it turns out, I feel pretty good about the season we’ve had. I like our chances of staying in first place, though.”

Coughlin also competed in Super Stock in Bowling Green, driving his Cobalt to a quarter final finish. Coughlin’s next event will be the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Aug. 29-Sept 3.

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