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.
HOUSTON – Reigning North Central Region Top Alcohol Dragster champion Troy Coughlin Jr. is bringing his JEGS.com McPhillips Racing rail to this weekend’s 32nd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals with plenty of “inspiration” to enjoy every moment of his trip to the Lone Star State.
Just before leaving his home state of Ohio to head south, Coughlin visited Inspire Elementary School in downtown Columbus as part of the school’s Career Day. The reaction he got from the kids to his job as well as his bright yellow and black dragster has given him extra motivation for this weekend and the season ahead.
“I was meant to go there and inspire the kids to chase their dreams and passions but I think I got more out of it than they did,” Coughlin said. “Seeing the ‘awe-factor’ in their eyes and the excitement in their voices for our racing program reminded me how lucky I am to live my dream every day. It’s reinvigorated me to always remember to enjoy the opportunities we have.”
Coughlin certainly lived a dream last year — his first in the demanding Top Alcohol Dragster class — as he rode team owner Rich McPhillips’ expert tune-up to four victories, the North Central Region title and a fourth-place finish in the national rankings. Naturally, they hope 2019 delivers even bigger returns, although Coughlin knows it’s never easy in the NHRA.
LAS VEGAS – In just his second race behind the wheel of a brand-new 2019 Rick Jones Racecars Chevrolet Camaro, five-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. and his JEGS.com Elite Motorsports crew already have a great handle on their ride, as witnessed be a stellar qualifying effort at this weekend’s 20th annual Denso Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Coughlin led the class in Round 1 Friday afternoon with a 6.665 at 206.40 mph and later improved to a 6.652 at 205.38 mph to top the final session at the close of Saturday’s action. Ultimately, he ended up second on the race day grid, his best starting spot of the young season.
“We really made four pretty good runs,” Coughlin said. “First thing out of the gate yesterday we were the quickest car, which was obviously great. That is always our plan. Last night we just kind of underestimated some of the changes we made and didn’t have quite as bitchin’ of a run as Q1 so we got bumped back to No. 2.
“This morning we came out and made another really good run (6.659 at 206.86 mph) and I think it was one of the top couple of passes that session. And then there in the last session we were the quickest car of all but stayed No. 2 because there just wasn’t quite as much track under us. All-in-all, it’s been a very good outing.”
LAS VEGAS – Whenever Jeg Coughlin Jr. isn’t driving his sleek JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro down The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway there’s a great chance he will be found in the grandstands watching his peers race in this weekend’s 20th annual Denso Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals. That’s how big a fan the 62-time national event winner is of four-wide racing.
“Whenever we go up there to check the track out before a run, I’m always awed by the spectacle of four-wide racing,” Coughlin said. “There’s so much to see, so much going on across four lanes of racing, it just kind of captures you. Our friends at FOX do a great job of showcasing it all on TV but it’s always better to be there.
“In the racecar, you have a different staging process and have a few extra things on your mind with the four-wide format but you’re mostly occupied with doing your job. When you get a chance to just watch, it fills all your senses for sure. This is definitely one of those races the fans will enjoy. I certainly plan to spend some time in the stands.”
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.”