Jeg & Troy Coughlin
The scene was familiar for drag racing brothers Jeg and Troy Coughlin. It was a cool January day and the young but veteran racers were camped out in the one place in the entire country where they could test their hot rods without threat of snow or adverse weather — Florida’s perpetually sunny Bradenton Motorsports Park.
However this year’s initial trip to the Sunshine State was anything but normal with both Troy and Jeg starting over to a certain degree with two new teams and two new racecars. After racing Pro Stock cars together under the family’s Jeg’s Mail Order umbrella for the past several years, the two will take decidedly different paths in 2005.
Three-time world champion Jeg will take his considerable talents to the powerful, multi-car Don Schumacher Racing organization and will team up with 26-year-old upstart Richie Stevens in a two-pronged Dodge Stratus R/T attack on the Pro Stock title Jeg claimed in 2000 and 2002.
For his part, multi-time national event winner Troy is switching gears to the outlaw world of Pro Mod, partnering with Mike Ashley on the 15-race Pro Mod Challenge tour behind the wheel of a wild-looking 1967 Ford Mustang hybrid.
Consequently, this first test session was truly a work in progress as both men began the process of acclimating themselves to new cockpits, crewmen, and challenges.
“This was a real test for all of us,” Jeg said of the two-day jaunt. “I’ve known and respected [crew chief] Bob Glidden for as long as I remember. Now I’m driving for him. It’s still hard to believe some times. I also know Richie very well but it’s a different relationship now that we’re teammates. I’m so excited. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
“The Dodge is definitely different from my old ride. We started pretty well. There were some initial struggles with some of the pieces, but I think we finally got the woes figured out at the end of Day 2. Richie stayed and tested a third day and even made a run in my new Jerry Haas car to see if they had fixed something they worked on Tuesday evening and it turned out they hadn’t. They just couldn’t find the problem so they went in a completely different direction with his car and it seemed to work. We still have some testing to do before Pomona but we’re happy with this start.”
Jeg made three full pulls, the best of which showed a 6.705 at 206.56 mph on the scoreboards. He also had a 6.749 at 205.19 mph and a 6.752 at 205.57 mph.
Troy has a lot more work to do, switching to a completely new class. Still, he looked remarkably comfortable in his freshly-painted machine, executing numerous half-track passes. He had one full run of note, a 6.235 at 218.12 mph, but even then the tune-up was soft as the crew stayed focused on the goal of giving Troy some seat time.
“I’m loving it,” Troy said. “A Pro Mod car delivers a wild ride every time. It’s a blast. The goal right now is to make as many passes as possible before our season starts (March 17 in Gainesville at the Mac Tools Nationals.) I want to be completely comfortable in the car so that we can race to win from the onset. A Pro Mod driver has different responsibilities versus Pro Stock so basically the guys are telling me I have 10 years of bad habits to break. But we’re all pleased with where the program is at the moment.”
For additional media resources visit www.teamjegs.com
Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEG’S, Director of Motorsports / Media
Office: 800.345.4545 (3.412)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org -or- email@example.com
Web Site: www.teamjegs.com -or- www.jegs.com
Scott "Woody" Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800-345-4545 (ext. 1412)