“Ricky and I battled back and forth all year long and it was kind of ironic that we got to have a winner-take-all race for the championship,” Coughlin said. “I’ve never been in a race like that. It was a lot of pressure but I was fortunate enough to have it go my way. That was definitely the highlight of my season. I won the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals in
Ironically, when the 2009 season began, Coughlin had no intentions of pursuing the Top Sportsman title. Instead, he was planning to join his brother John in the Top Dragster class. But he had a change of heart early in the year after running one event in the Top Dragster division, quickly changing course and returning to the familiar confines of his JEGS.com Chevy.
“I enjoyed the few runs that I made in Top Dragster but I just realized I liked racing my Cobalt a little better,” Coughlin said. “Before I ran the dragster, I drove the Cobalt at the [JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals] in Belle Rose,
Following an off-season performance upgrade that included a new engine from Sonny Leonard, Coughlin’s car consistently ran elapsed times in the 6.7-second range at speeds of more than 200 mph, nearly matching the performance of his brother Jeg’s NHRA Pro Stock car. Coughlin was able to quickly adapt to the quicker elapsed times and faster speeds with the help of his crew, which included his father, Jeg Coughlin Sr., and Greg Cody, who returned to the team this season.
“We had a few handling issues at the start of the season but we were able to get them sorted out,” Coughlin said. “When Greg came back he really helped make a difference. He was with me for the wins in
MIKE COUGHLIN 2009 FACTS
Won the North Central Division Dart Top Sportsman Series championship
Scored a title-clinching victory at the Southeast Division Lucas Oil Series Race in
Won the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals at his home track of National Trail Raceway
Quote book: “This is the second time in the last three years that my brother John and I both won championships. It really worked out well for both of us.” – Mike Coughlin
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