LAS VEGAS (April 7) — Legendary crooner Wayne Newton is widely known as “Mr. Las Vegas” but he might have to lend the moniker to reigning Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. for the April 11-13 drag race at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“Las Vegas already is a very exciting town but this trip looks like it might be extra special,” Coughlin said. “We’re starting it off with a big fan party Thursday night at the Palms (the Champions Meet & Greet from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.) and they’re unveiling special gaming chips with last year’s champs on them. I’m lucky enough to be on two of the chips, a $5 one and a $25 one. How cool is that? It’s a very special deal.

“Then we have a big race over at The Bullring Saturday night where a bunch of us will be driving Thunder Roadsters. I’ve never driven one before but we’re going to give it a try and see if we can’t have some fun. Plus, we have a full slate of all the usual race weekend activities, which certainly includes a lot of drag racing. We’re going to be busy but I can’t think of a better town where you can turn up the wick.”

Coughlin has enjoyed plenty of success at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He raced to runner-up finishes at both of last year’s events and won three of his 52 career national event trophies at the facility in 2000, ’01, and ’02. He also was the No. 1 qualifier here one year ago. Additionally, Coughlin won the preseason Pontiac Showdown test session in early February.

“I feel completely comfortable at this racetrack,” Coughlin said. “It’s one of the premiere facilities on tour and the fact we’ve won here before, even as recently as February when all the top teams were here for preseason testing, gives us confidence.

“We’re second right now by just three points and we plan on coming out swinging. Houston was our worst outing of the year. We only went to the quarterfinals there, so we all feel like a rebound is eminent, especially after the start we’ve had this year.”

After his win at the Pontiac Showdown, Coughlin has since scored a victory in Gainesville, Fla., a runner-up finish in Pomona, Calif., a semifinal result in Phoenix and his aforementioned second-round ending in Houston.

“It’s going to be a memorable weekend considering all that we have going on,” Coughlin said. “Another win here would put it over the top.”

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