PALM BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 29) – With a bright new paint job and a take-no-prisoners attitude, T.J. Coughlin and his JEGS dragster is starting the season with a mini-tour of Florida.
He started his racing season with a second round breakout loss in the Quick Rod class this weekend at the Nitro Jam opener at Palm Beach International Raceway.
“It went OK. I have a lot of confidence in the car,” Coughlin said. “I’ve just got to focus on smacking the tree and making sure the car stays in shape.”
Coughlin qualified No. 6 in the Quick Rod field and faced Ray Llanusa in the opening round. Coughlin cut a .014 second light and made a 8.905 second pass at 173.76 mph on a 8.90 second index. Llanusa broke out with a 0.079 light with a 8.870 breakout finish at 164.99 mph.
In the second round, Coughlin went up against Ron Folk in the second round, earning a .003 second advantage at the start after a .019 light. This time Coughlin was a little too quick, finishing in 8.888 at 179.42 mph. Folk posted a 8.942 at 157.65 mph on a .022 light.
“I’ve been working on the practice tree at my house,” Coughlin said. “If you tell yourself that it’s going to take time to get used to racing again, it’s going to mess you up. That’s how Jeggie (T.J.’s uncle, Jeg Coughlin Jr.) taught me to do it. He’s been the best.”
Nitro Jam was just the beginning for Coughlin because he will have two more stops in Florida in the coming weeks.
“We’ll be back for Immokalee next week,” he said. “From there we’ll go to Bradenton.”
It won’t be hard to recognize Coughlin’s machine at the racetrack, just look for the all-yellow car.
“It’s an all-yellow paint scheme and it’s really bright,” Coughlin said. “I really puts the logo out there and displays our ‘Track Tested’ program nicely.”
Racing at Immokalee Regional Raceway begins on Feb. 4 and continues through Feb. 6.