ST. LOUIS – The NHRA playoffs are the perfect time to shine and five-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. has been strutting his stuff in his JEGS.com Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro since the Countdown to the Championship started one race ago. That trend has continued this weekend in St. Louis with Coughlin securing his third No. 1 qualifier honor of the season.
“This is the Countdown,” said Coughlin, a three-time winner this season and a five-time victor at Gateway Motorsports Park. “All the stops have been pulled and we are really being aggressive in qualifying, much more so than we have been all season.”
Coughlin’s best run this weekend so far was the 6.496 at 211.76 mph he posted Saturday afternoon. He also carded a pair of 6.516s and a 6.551 during qualifying, good enough to keep him atop the field since the second qualifying session.
“It was close to Disneyland conditions for Pro Stock cars,” Coughlin said. “We were here almost 24 hours in the same position with the 6.516 (from Q2 Friday) and really felt like today if the forecast was accurate, we could improve.
ST. LOUIS – Five-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. appears to be peaking at the right time as the NHRA tour prepares for this weekend’s seventh annual AAA NHRA Midwest Nationals. Just one race into the Countdown to the Championship, Coughlin’s JEGS.com Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro is running at the top of the charts, as witnessed last weekend in Reading, Pa., where he qualified second overall.
“It’s a very exciting time,” Coughlin said. “We are heading to Round 2 of 6 in this year’s playoffs and we have a great hot rod on our hands. We were very quick every single round in Reading, qualified second by just a fraction to my teammate Erica Enders, and definitely had a car that could have won the race.
“Pro Stock is a zero-tolerance world. The preparation during the week, the calls you make during the day, driving down the track — it all has to be perfect. There’s no room for error because any one of the 10 cars in the Countdown are capable of winning, and even a few outside the top 10 have a chance to strike.”
READING, PA – A huge win in Sunday’s 34th annual Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway has given Top Alcohol Dragster driver Troy Coughlin Jr. a big boost in the national rankings. Racing at the hometown track of team owner and crew chief Rich McPhillips of nearby Phoenixville, Pa., Coughlin’s JEGS.com McPhillips Racing dragster was the class of the field all weekend, ultimately resulting in the groups fourth victory of the season and third in the last four events.
“The guys on this team are fantastic and so tenacious with this place,” Coughlin said. “You can definitely tell it’s right in their backyard for how well this thing’s been running all weekend. They know this place very well and it shows.
“This brings a lot of memories for me because my dad (Troy Sr.) won Pro Stock here in 2001 just a few weeks after 9/11 and it was very emotional. I was only 11 years old and I was back home listening to the race and after everything had happened it was so cool for him to win. Now here we are, celebrating again.”
INDIANAPOLIS – Coming up just a few feet short of a sixth U.S. Nationals title didn’t dampen Pro Stock kingpin Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s weekend too much, especially after learning he’d advanced up one position in the Countdown to the Championship, the six-race playoff that begins in two weeks.
Coughlin used expert driving skills to emerge from the No. 7 qualifying position and beat Alex Laughlin, four-time series winner Greg Anderson and reigning class champion Bo Butner to reach his fourth final of the year. The effort lifted the JEGS.com pro from fifth to fourth place in the final regular season rankings, which puts him 10 points closer to the No. 1 spot when the points are reset later today for the Countdown.
“We’re very happy,” Coughlin said. “We definitely wanted win the U.S. Nationals, especially after getting all this way, but got packaged out, so to speak, by Tanner Gray. He deserved the win today, plain and simple.
INDIANAPOLIS – The loud groan coming out of Lucas Oil Speedway at Indianapolis is the rest of the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series competitors after they collectively watched the rebirth of reigning and three-time class champion Troy Coughlin Sr., who has roared back into prominence at the sport’s biggest event.
Troy Sr. zipped to the No. 3 qualifying position in his JEG.com twin-turbo Ford Mustang and dismissed a very game Michael Biehle in the opening round of eliminations Sunday evening, 5.803 at 254.71 mph to 5.820 at 255.19 mph. It’s the most promising race of the season for Troy Sr., who briefly retired from competition after last year’s crowning only to return in June.
“I knew Steve Petty (crew chief) would get this car sorted out,” said Troy Sr., who missed the first four races of the year. “The nine weeks off between the last Pro Mod race in Norwalk and this weekend really gave the guys a chance to test the wheels off this car and get it to agree with Steve’s tune-up. I think it’s safe to say we’ve got a racecar again, although there is definitely more to get out of this thing.
Troy Coughlin Jr. and the JEGS.com McPhillips Racing team are roaring into the 64th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals on a two-race winning streak that certainly makes them a “Big Go” favorite.
One day after clinching the North Central Regional Top Alcohol Dragster championship, Troy Coughlin Jr. and the JEGS.com McPhillips Racing team are roaring into the 64th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals on a two-race winning streak that certainly makes them a “Big Go” favorite.
Coughlin Jr. and crew followed up an impressive victory two weekends ago at the “Northeast Shootout” Division 1 race at Cecil County Dragway in Maryland with another big win Sunday at the “The Battle at the Beech” Division 3 race at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Kentucky. Combined with an earlier trophy grab at another D3 race in Norwalk, Ohio, Coughlin cannot be caught in the North Central Region standings.
“It’s already been a remarkable season, for sure,” Coughlin Jr. said. “I think back to one year ago at this point and I was really in a weird place. The Top Fuel thing with Kalitta Motorsports wasn’t going well and my confidence was way down. Even though I’d been racing and doing pretty well for a good while, I was questioning my abilities at every turn. A lot of self-doubt had crept into my head.
INDIANAPOLIS – The top drivers from the JEGS.com camp plan to paint Lucas Oil Raceway a familiar shade of yellow and black at this year’s 64th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals with dreams of winning the sport’s top prize in five different eliminators.
Leading the charge in his JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stocker, six-time world champion and five-time Indy winner Jeg Coughlin Jr. is riding a wave of top performances this summer into the sport’s biggest shindig.
“Not too many cars or teams have enjoyed the momentum we’ve built this summer here at Elite Motorsports,” said Jeg Jr., a four-time national event winner this year. “It’s been a good year and we’re ripping and rearing to go this weekend.