“Ever since I was 5 years old I’ve been dreaming of this moment and now that it’s finally here I don’t even know what to say,” the 19-year-old driver said. “I remember my uncle Jeg coming off a plane with a Wally trophy and I thought, ‘I’ve got to get one of those,’ and now here it is.
“I watched Dad win, my uncles Jeg, Mike, and John win, and it’s always so cool. I really don’t think the fact I’ve won one myself has even sunk in yet because it doesn’t even seem real.”
T.J.’s JEGS.com dragster ran extremely well all weekend but it was his work in the cockpit that made the difference. The final was a good example as he left on opponent Anthony Castillo and posted a winning 9.061 to Castillo’s 9.068 on the 9.05-second index.
“I tried my best all weekend and just kept my cool,” T.J. said. “It is so neat to have both my uncle Jeg and Pa Pa (Jeg Sr.) here. They helped me out all day and it’s incredible to have them up there on the starting line reading the track and helping me line up for each race. Those guys are living legends and it’s hard to describe how that feels.
“I’m so proud to be the first third-generation Coughlin to win. Now my cousin Cody needs to get out here and win one also. He’s next.
“We’re staying out here and racing the divisional event next weekend with my uncle John so maybe we can get two in a row. I don’t know; I’m in La-La Land right now.”