GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 5) — Growing up in a drag racing family, Pro Stock veteran Jeg Coughlin Jr. learned from an early age that some drag races mean more than others. One such race is the upcoming 38th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway in central Florida.

“This is a big one, without question,” Coughlin said. “It always has been, even back when dad was racing Top Fuel. That makes it special to me.”

The Gatornationals is the fourth longest running race on the 23-event POWERade Drag Racing Series. Only the two Pomona events and the U.S. Nationals have been around longer.

“This has always been the first race on the East Coast so it always draws all the heavy hitters from this side of the country,” Coughlin said. “Growing up in Ohio, I know we always look forward to coming down to Florida and getting some sun after the winter months. And while you’re here, you might as well drag race!”

Coughlin has an impressive record at the Gators, racing to the finals four years in a row from 2001 through 2004. Over that time frame he won once (in 2001) and scored three runner-up finishes (’02-’04).

A 47-time national event winner with three world titles to his credit, Coughlin will be looking for two more victories March 15-18, racing both his Slammers Ultimate Milk Chevrolet Cobalt and his Super Stock Chevrolet Cavalier.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to race both cars all year so far and I’m having a lot of fun with them,” Coughlin said. “It certainly keeps you busy at the track but I like the fact you stay in race mode longer.

“Gainesville will be fun this year because my brother John is also racing his Super Stocker there so maybe we’ll get to tangle in eliminations. Plus, Troy is competing in Pro Mod so it’ll be a nice family weekend. Maybe Team JEGS will leave town with a handful of trophies. I’ll certainly be doing my part.”

Cagnazzi Racing, which owns Coughlin’s Pro Stock car, will test the vehicle for three days prior to the event with team driver Dave Connolly at the controls. “The goal is to make the car more efficient going down the racetrack,” Coughlin said.

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