POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 9) — In two decades of racing at the highest level of professional drag racing, Jeg Coughlin Jr. has experienced just about everything a driver can face. He's shared with his JEGS.com team the glory of winning six world champions and 76 national events. He's also endured with class and grace a few winless campaigns where struggles replaced successes for a myriad of reasons.
While 2016 will ultimately lean towards the latter, the driver of the Magneti Marelli offered by Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Dart arrives at this weekend's 52nd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals with the same positive mindset he's always had.
"We're here to challenge for the race win and we will do everything in our power to make that happen," he said. "I'm excited, because I'm a drag racer at heart and nothing says 'drag racing' more than the fairgrounds at Pomona in southern California.
"I'm still the guy that gets goosebumps when I pull through the gates at Pomona. Of course we bookend our seasons at this track and many times in the past we've come here in the fall in the midst of championship battles. That's not the case this year but we still have a chance to win a race, so that's what we'll strive to do."
Auto Club Raceway in Pomona has been a place of great fortune for Coughlin, He's won at the facility a whopping six times in the past, three times in the fall (1999, 2005 and 2007), twice in the spring (1999 and 2000) and once in the summer of 2001 during the sport's 50th anniversary celebration.
"We've been very fortunate over the years to score a bunch of victories with Team JEGS and there certainly are tracks where we've had more success than others," Coughlin said. "Pomona happens to be a place where we've found the winner's circle quite a few times and that's exciting because you always have a sense of comfort when you return to a track where you've won before.
"This Elite Motorsports team has been incredible to work with this year. It's been a year where we wanted so much more and while things didn't quite work out the way we had hoped, no one complained or pointed fingers. We all just kept at it and worked harder.
"The future is extremely bright. There are some big things happening and we're already well into our preparations for a huge bounce-back year in 2017. But first things first; we want to win Pomona."
Pro Stock qualifying sessions will run at 12 and 3 p.m., on both Friday and Saturday. Eliminations start at noon, Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will broadcast qualifying action from 8:30-9:30 p.m., Friday. Eliminations will air live from 1-4 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in PT).