GAINESVILLE, FL – Fresh off a thrilling victory at the last NHRA tour stop in Phoenix, Jeg Coughlin Jr. is bullish on his chances to repeat the feat with his brand-new RJ Racecars-built Camaro at this weekend’s 50th anniversary Amalie Oil Gatornationals.
Coughlin made his quickest and fastest pass of the young season in Saturday’s third of four qualifying passes, posting a 6.514 at 211.89 mph in his JEGS.com machine. The run slotted him in the No. 6 position on the elimination grid, setting up a first-round date with Kenny Delco (6.538 at 211.89 mph).
“We made four very respectable runs in this brand-new car so we’re pretty happy,” said Coughlin, who debuted a new car this race. “We don’t have everything perfect just yet, as evidenced by what we’ve done so far, but the car’s real comfortable and we are gathering a ton of data every run.
“It helps that Erica (Enders, teammate) started the year with the same chassis, same RJ Racecars design, so we’ve been able to learn off her car to get us up to speed. Rickie (Jones, crew chief) has just been trying to peck away a little bit at a time. We definitely are making progress and we are looking to make some more tomorrow on game day.”
GAINESVILLE, FL – Team JEGS drivers Jeg Coughlin Jr., Mike Coughlin and Troy Coughlin Jr. grew up admiring Jeg Coughlin Sr. and pretty much anyone who managed to win the Amalie Oil Gatornationals, which run for the 50th time this weekend. To honor both entities, the boys in yellow and black have big plans to win their respective classes in dramatic throwback paint schemes that replicate Jeg Sr.’s designs from the ’70s, when the Gators were just getting started.
“We have a brand-new RJ Racecars Camaro and it looks completely badass with the design Dad ran back in the early ’70s,” Jeg Jr. said. “We’d love to break it in with a big weekend in Gainesville. For those of us on the eastern portion of the country, there isn’t much better than winning the Gators, especially when you see the names of all the former winners.
“This new car, obviously it’s a bit different than what we’ve run the last nine months, is working extremely well in testing. Erica (Enders, teammate) made some shakedown passes with it and I jumped in as soon as I got here and the guys have been working their way through it ever since. It’s been really fast no matter what we try with it so the crew chief brain trust here at Elite Motorsports is very excited.
GAINESVILLE, FL – In a salute to the landmark 50th running of the historic Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Team JEGS drivers Mike Coughlin, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Troy Coughlin Jr will display special “Throwback” paint schemes selected from some of the top racecars family patriarch Jeg Coughlin Sr. campaigned during his career.
Mike Coughlin has transformed his Top Dragster into a replica of his father’s dominant Top Fuel Dragster that collected three North Central Division championships in 1977, 1978 and 1980 and set a personal-best elapsed time of 5.78 seconds.
“Our PR guy Woody Woodruff came up with this idea and I think it’s great,” Mike Coughlin said. “I’ll be running the exact same design as Dad’s first Al Swindahl-built Top Fuel Dragster that set a whole bunch of speed records and won three championships back in the day. I take a lot of pride in having the opportunity to recognize Dad like this and drive this car. I hope it rekindles a bunch of great memories for him and the fans.”
GAINESVILLE, FL – One surefire way to chase away the winter blues is a two-week-long racing vacation in the Sunshine State. That’s exactly what’s been on the mind of JEGS.com Top Dragster pilot Mike Coughlin, who is anxious to travel south to the Baby Gators NHRA Division 2 Lucas Oil event, March 6-10, at historic Gainesville Raceway in central Florida.
And to make doubly sure he warms up sufficiently, Coughlin plans to stay on for the 50th annual Amalie Oil Gatornationals the following weekend, March 14-17, and race alongside his brother Jeg Coughlin Jr., Jeg Jr.’s wife Samantha and Mike’s nephew Troy Coughlin Jr.
“It’s been a long, cold and snowy winter up here in Ohio so I’m definitely in need of some sun therapy,” Mike said. “A couple weeks in Florida sounds perfect, especially with a bunch of racing thrown into the mix.
“To have two races in a row at the same facility, one as good as Gainesville Raceway, will give us a great start to what we hope is a championship season. We tested very well recently in Palm Beach and we plan on coming out swinging at the Baby Gators and the regular national event. These two races should give us a solid benchmark of what we can expect this year, and I feel like it’s going to be very good.”
CHANDLER, AZ – When you’ve won 62 times in Pro Stock competition, it would be understandable if the victories started to blend together in your mind. But for five-time series champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., earning the trophy of Sunday’s 35th annual Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals in his 1,000 round of Pro Stock racing, this trophy has special significance.
“This win today truly feels really second-to-none,” Coughlin said. “To reach a mark like this — 1,000 rounds of racing in this class — and to hit it just right with a win, wow, that’s just incredible.
“It’s a lot of racing. I’ve been racing Pro Stock for more than 20 years and to reach this mile marker is amazing. I’ve got to thank my family and all the crew members and teams I’ve had behind me through the years. I’ve had some amazing talent helping me get here, from mechanics and engineers working on the car, to the various crew chiefs and engine builders, the list goes on and on.
“This is really a testament to this Elite team and all the other teams we’ve had over the years. I remind myself every time I get in the car to just get in there and do what I love to do and that’s race this car. That’s a cliché saying from the Days of Thunder movie, as someone pointed out to me years ago, but it’s still a damn good point. I’m honored to be here, doing what I love.”
CHANDLER, AZ – There’s snow on the mountains behind Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park — a site most drag racers have never seen at this facility — and racing conditions have been tricky, with two qualifying sessions lost to cold temperatures, but Jeg Coughlin Jr. still managed to find a quick way the quarter-mile to qualify seventh at this weekend’s 35th annual Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals.
“We qualified ninth in Pomona (Calif., at the season opener) and seventh here so we are moving in the right direction,” Coughlin said. “Of course, both rounds were lost yesterday due to the cold, it was cold here a month ago when we tested at this track, and it was cold in Pomona two weeks back so we’re really getting a work out, so to speak, running on cold surfaces.
“Today’s sun was wonderful and although our car still isn’t completely happy riding down through there at this point, we did have nice start in both of today’s runs. It’s just that area from about 200 feet to 500 feet that’s tricky, and you can feel it as you roll through the gears. We’ve got some massaging to do but I have faith in our group to sort it all out.”
CHANDLER, AZ – It looks like this weekend’s 35th annual Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals may set records for chilly temperatures, but five-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. thinks his JEGS.com Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro is ready to set fire to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
“I said before the season opener (in Pomona, Calif.) that this is the best-running car I’ve had at the start of the season since I’ve raced with Elite Motorsports so I’m extremely excited to get to Phoenix and get after it,” Coughlin said. “This is a track where we’ve had great success in the past and we tested well there a few weeks back so we’re expecting big things.
“It looks to be uncharacteristically cold this weekend but we just encountered the same situation in Pomona so we’re already on task to find a good cold-weather setup. All five of the Elite cars ran well in Pomona and we ended up with two cars in the final four so the crew chiefs are doing their jobs. I know we’ll see more of the same this weekend and hopefully one of us can pull off the victory.”