NORWALK, OH – Reigning regional champion Troy Coughlin Jr. and his sister Paige Coughlin are bringing a trio of racecars to this weekend’s 13th annual Cavalcade of Stars in their home state of Ohio with high hopes of scoring a win or two in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event.
Although Troy Jr. won’t be driving the JEGS.com McPhillips Racing dragster he piloted to the North Central Region title last season — that particular team competes in Division 1 — he will be racing a pair of proven winners in Norwalk. The first is his JEGS.com Super Comp dragster, a category where he’s won two national events and a handful of bracket races, and his uncle Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s Super Gas Corvette Roadster, which has carried him to three national event victories in the past.
“Division 3 has so many great drivers in the super classes and it’s always tough to match up with these guys and gals,” Troy Jr. said. “It’s also a lot of fun because drag racing is my passion and I want to test myself against the very best.”
Another Team JEGS driver up for the challenge this weekend is Troy Jr.’s younger sister Paige, who has just finished her freshman year at Miami (Ohio) University. Paige will be competing alongside her brother in Super Comp, a category she’s raced for the past 18 months.
“We had a solid start to the 2019 season at National Trail Raceway last weekend,” Paige said. “My JEGS.com dragster was running great but unfortunately I turned on the red light second round. I’m looking forward to being at Norwalk this coming weekend with my brother and Justin (Beaver, crewman). Racing in Ohio is always special to me and my family because it’s our home state and we love representing everyone at JEGS everywhere we go.”
DINWIDDIE, VA – The Pro Stock category has taken a six-week break from the regular Mello Yello Drag Racing Series but that hasn’t dampened the spirit of five-time class champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., who is anxious to get back in the seat of his JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro at this weekend’s second annual Virginia NHRA Nationals.
“Personally, I’m enjoying the reduced commitment of time with the new 18-race schedule for Pro Stock for a variety of reasons but it will be great to be back with my teammates at Elite Motorsports this weekend,” Coughlin said. “It’s definitely time to get back after it and resume the fight.
“I have kept up with my teammates racing in Pro Mod, and that’s been exciting, and I’m also fired up to hear about the progress the guys have made with the Pro Stock engine program during this little break. It’s certainly been different to be in the middle of the season and then take six weeks off, but we’re all getting used to it together.”
COLUMBUS, OH – The thrill of competing in front of a hometown crowd filled with family, friends and fellow associates of JEGS High Performance awaits Team JEGS drag racers Mike Coughlin, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Paige Coughlin at this weekend’s 17th annual NHRA Buckeye Nationals.
The group will contest both the Top Dragster and Super Comp categories at the event, which is the first regional race of the year on the North Central Division schedule.
“I’m searching for a run of good luck and I can’t think of a better place to start that than National Trail,” said Mike, who will be racing his JEGS.com-branded Top Dragster. “This is actually our third race of the year and our car has been great. We just haven’t had any luck. That’s not for lack of effort or talent. Everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing and the dragster is very fast and consistent.
“I made my first ever passes at National Trail and I’ve definitely been down that quarter-mile more than any other one in the world. We were just there a week ago for the track’s first race of the season and Jay Livingston (track owner) and his staff have done so much to improve the facility. My son Clay was racing his Junior Dragster and everything looked great. I’m excited to get started myself and look forward to racing with my niece and nephew.”
BENSON, NC – Long before he was winning world championships in NHRA competition, Jeg Coughlin Jr. was lining up against the toughest drag racers in the world at various high-dollar bracket races around the country. The six-time world champ returns to those roots this week at Kyle Seipel and Peter Biondo’s renowned K&N Spring Fling presented by Optima Batteries at Galot Motorsports Park.
Coughlin, who has 81 NHRA national event wins, will be racing a JEGS.com-branded dragster and his popular JEGS.com Chevy II wagon at the event. He’ll be joined by his talented wife Samantha Coughlin, who will race her own JEGS.com dragster.
“We’re eager and very excited to start racing,” Jeg Jr. said. “The last time I had the chance to bracket race was in 2016 so it’s been a little while. I’m thinking this has been the longest stretch of my driving career where I haven’t bracket raced somewhere so it’s a real thrill to be gearing up for this week.
CONCORD, NC – Troy Coughlin Jr. is happy anytime he gets to race his JEGS.com McPhillips Racing Top Alcohol Dragster. That’s especially the case when the NHRA tour visits zMAX Dragway in the Charlotte suburb of Concord, as it will this weekend for the 10th annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
“The No. 1 coolest thing about this race is the fans,” Coughlin said. “They are so passionate about racing — any kind of racing — and that’s exactly the way I am. If it’s got wheels and a motor, I’m interested.
“Charlotte fans are ones you remember year after year because they’ll come up to say hello and they know everything about your season and your car. They ask really good questions because they’re so into racing. I feel like I’m one of them because I’d be the exact same way if I wasn’t here racing myself. I love it.”
Coughlin also has great affection for the track itself as zMAX Dragway is widely recognized as one of the best on tour. Like all Bruton Smith-built facilities, the track surface is always smooth and the grounds are clean and welcoming for racers and fans alike.
The extra attention paid to the track usually makes for great racing, something that has Coughlin’s attention, especially since he arrives in the Queen City coming off a strong performance in Houston where he qualified No. 2 and raced to a runner-up result.
DELAWARE, OH – This year’s 15th annual Mr. Aruba’s Winter Nationals Bench Race and Charity Challenge raised $13,652 for the JEGS Foundation for Cancer Research. What started as a fun way to break up the winter months, Mr. Aruba’s Winter Nationals has now topped $100,000 in total monies raised.
Mike DeChicco and Jane Graebner, aka Mr. and Mrs. Aruba, began the event in 2005, using a practice Christmas Tree in DeChicco’s basement, aka Ostrander International Raceway, in Ostrander, Ohio. Family and friends bought-in to participate, with all money raised going to the JEGS Foundation. It’s been a mid-winter staple ever since.
“Once again, Mike and Jane, along with a huge group of very generous friends, have simply stunned us all with yet another record amount raised,” said Jeg Coughlin Jr., vice president and co-owner of JEGS, which started the JEGS Foundation in 2003. “Everyone involved in this really neat event through the years should be extremely proud of the fact their donations are going directly to cancer research at Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Racing in just his second year in the class, Coughlin beat Rob McKinley, Steve Collier and Shane Conway before getting edged by current national points leader Megan Meyer in a thrilling side-by-side finale.
“We’ve had a very successful weekend,” Coughlin said. “We needed a tick more to beat Megan but just getting a chance to race them in the final round of an NHRA national event is an honor. It’s such a thrill to be up there with the race title on the line. The stands are full and you know all eyes are on you. That was a big race and my hats off to Megan and her team for getting the win.
“That’s a top-notch group that makes a lot of runs. They earn everything they get and you better be perfect to even have a chance.”
Coughlin certainly gave it a go against Meyer, posting his best reaction time of race day, a stout .050-second launch, but his 5.266 at 275.90 mph wasn’t quick enough to hold off Meyer, who caught and passed Coughlin to win with a 5.231 at 279.15 mph.