Semifinal finish lifts Jeg Coughlin Jr. two spots in Pro Stock points
READING, PA – In what may be the most impressive race of his young career, Troy Coughlin Jr. took the absolute toughest route to the winner’s circle of the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals Sunday to claim his fourth victory of the season in his JEGS.com McPhillips Racing Top Alcohol Dragster.
Ranked third in the world leading into the event, Coughlin beat national points leader Shawn Cowie in the quarterfinals, fourth-ranked Duane Shields in the semifinals and second-place runner Megan Meyer in the final to claim his team’s home event for the second straight year.
“Maple Grove Raceway has such a special place in my heart,” Coughlin said. “Especially being a part of McPhillips Racing these last two seasons. They all live nearby and this is their home so it’s super rewarding to win back-to-back races here. I’ve never done that before.
“This one took an incredible amount of work. These guys — Rich and Richie (McPhillips), Duke Roney, John Flenard, Andy Goode, Charlie Wroten and Charlie Greco — they busted their butts with short turnarounds all day. They made zero mistakes and that’s why we’re standing here in the winner’s circle.”
Defending champ Troy Coughlin Jr. survives first test
READING, PA – The NHRA playoffs have begun with the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals and five-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. is looking sharp enough to challenge for what would be a sixth career victory at historic Maple Grove Raceway. At the conclusion of the quickest qualifying session of the year, Coughlin’s JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro is fifth overall in the field.
At a time of the season when every point counts, Coughlin’s four impressive qualifying runs helped him close in on overall class points leader Bo Butner by four points due to better overall elapsed times in each session.
“The track has been absolutely amazing all weekend, despite the misty weather, and we’ve run very well,” Coughlin said. “We were third quickest in Q1, ran our best elapsed time of the year in Q2, we were third quickest again earlier today even though it was slightly warmer, and we closed out qualifying with the quickest run of the session.
Troy Coughlin Jr. anxious to defend Reading TAD title
READING, PA – Team JEGS drag racers Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Troy Coughlin Jr. showing no signs of stress on the cusp of the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals despite the fact both men are in the midst of challenging championship battles in Pro Stock and Top Alcohol Dragster, respectively.
Vying for his sixth Pro Stock crown and seventh world title overall, Ohio native Jeg Jr. is pleased this year’s Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s version of playoffs, is starting in the familiar confines of historic Maple Grove Raceway. After all, this is one of the tracks where he grew up and he’s won here five times.
“The way the schedule shifted this year to start our six-race Countdown in Reading is perfect for me,” Jeg Jr. said. “There couldn’t be a better place for our JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro to find a good late-season rhythm. We certainly know this facility well, all the way back to when I came here as a boy to watch my dad (Hall of Famer Jeg Coughlin Sr.) race, and I know you can’t find more passionate and knowledgeable fans then the ones that pack this racetrack whenever we roll through.
EPPING, NH – Reigning North Central Region Top Alcohol Dragster champion Troy Coughlin Jr. surrendered the East Region points lead Saturday with an untimely semifinal loss to Josh Hart, who entered the “Night of Fire” event in second place.
“This is such a humbling sport,” Coughlin said. “We’ve been running so well and we were very confident heading into what was obviously a big round for us and the car spun the tires. I mean we didn’t go an inch. That hasn’t happened all year and that was a bad time for it to happen but we’re not gonna dwell on it. We’re already looking forward to next weekend.”
Due to rain that followed the semifinal round, Coughlin won’t know how much damage he incurred in the rankings until tomorrow. Hart is scheduled to race Dan Mercier for the trophy once the weather clears. Mercier upset top qualifier Duane Shields to earn his chance at glory.
DELAWARE, OH – Two-time Division 3 champion Mike Coughlin is heading north in search of more glory at the Bader family’s beautiful quarter-mile drag strip in Norwalk, Ohio. Coughlin will be racing Thursday and Friday in his JEGS.com Top Dragster, making up for the washed-out action from the Norwalk national event in May.
Mike’s nephew Troy Coughlin Jr. also will be in action this weekend, running his JEGS.com McPhillips Racing Top Alcohol Dragster at the Night of Fire Division 1 race in Epping, N.H.
“The Baders and officials from the NHRA decided to cancel most of the Sportsman racing at the national event because there had been torrential rain for days leading into race week,” Mike said. “During national events, Sportsman racers park on the other side of the track in the grass and it was just completely swamped out at that time. I think they made the right call.
INDIANAPOLIS – Top Alcohol Dragster ace Troy Coughlin Jr. raced to his eighth final of the year Monday at the 65th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals to remain very much alive in the national championship chase.
After qualifying atop the field at the sport’s biggest race, Coughlin beat Brandon Greco, Jackie Fricke and Will Smith before eliminating himself with a miniscule -.003-second red-light foul in the finals against Megan Meyer, which she won with a 5.250.
“I need to thank everyone on the McPhillips Racing crew — Rich and Richie (McPhillips), Duke Roney, John Flenard, Andy Goode, Charlie Wroten and Charlie Greco — for covering my butt today,” Coughlin said. “This is the U.S. Nationals, the granddaddy of them all, and they stepped up and showed their professionalism.
“From qualifying No. 1 in the field to giving me a car that beat some of the best drivers in the sport, on through to having a great chance to win this race, I simply couldn’t ask for more. I wish I’d been a little sharper behind the wheel today but it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Troy Jr., a double-Indy winner, leads Top Alcohol Dragster
INDIANAPOLIS – Six-time NHRA champion drag racer Jeg Coughlin Jr. will try to match his number of world titles with trophies from the sport’s biggest race Monday when he vies for the win in Pro Stock at this year’s 65th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Coughlin is qualified seventh overall.
In Top Alcohol Dragster, Jeg Jr.’s nephew Troy Coughlin Jr. managed to qualify in the No. 1 position at the most prestigious event on the schedule. A stout 5.174 at 277.72 mph in the JEGS.com McPhillips Racing rail got the job done.
“The hard work has been done, as far as qualifying goes, and now it’s time to have some fun and try to win the ‘Big Go,'” Jeg Jr. said. “This is the one we all dream about.”
Long regarded as the biggest drag race of them all, Coughlin already has five Indy victories in his illustrious career. He won Pro Stock here in 2000, 2002, and 2009, Super Gas in 1992, and the Mopar Hemi Challenge in 2004.