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Defending NHRA Sonoma Nationals champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. looking to repeat the feat

SONOMA, CA – Jeg Coughlin Jr. used a big win at last year’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals to kick-off a strong stretch run of the 2018 season that ultimately ended with a lofty second-place finish in the championship points. Now the 81-time national event winner is hoping a repeat performance at this weekend’s race will yield similar results for his Elite Motorsports race team.

“That is what’s on the menu right now — repeating what we did here last year and rolling on into the playoffs,” Coughlin said. “It’s just not that easy to do because there are so many top teams and drivers out here. Of course, that’s also what makes it so challenging and fun.

“If we stay focused on making good quality runs each session, not looking too far ahead, we will continue to keep our car up at the front of the pack. If I can do my part and compliment what the car is capable of with some good driving, I like our chances.”

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Division 3 leader Mike Coughlin of Team JEGS continues to shine out west

SONOMA, CA – Fresh off back-to-back victories in Indianapolis and Chicago that catapulted him to the Division 3 points lead in Top Dragster, Mike Coughlin emerged from a double-header weekend at Sonoma Raceway Sunday afternoon with six more elimination-round wins to his credit.

“This Top Dragster is such a great car now,” Coughlin said. “We changed blowers a month and a half back, went and tested it, and have now completed four races and it’s been perfect. It reacts exactly the way we want it to every time and we’re not hurting anything.

“Getting to the semifinals Friday in the first race was exciting. Out here in Division 7, it takes six rounds to win the race, whereas we almost always set 32-car fields at home so the fifth round is usually the final. This time it was the semifinals, but as far as points go it was the equivalent of a runner-up result in our division, so it was a pretty great result. We just got beat, straight-up, in a great drag race.”

In Friday’s race, Coughlin beat Mike MacBrair, Geneva Nash, Taylor Vetter and Steve Will before getting nipped by Jeff Havens in a double-breakout affair. Sunday, he lasted to the third round before a razor-close loss at the finish line.

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Semifinal finish lifts JEGS pro Jeg Coughlin Jr. ever-closer to top-five perch

DENVER – Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s third semifinal finish of the 2019 season, which occurred Sunday at the 40th annual Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, has lifted the five-time Pro Stock champion and his Elite Motorsports crew to within a round of the elite top-five points earners in the class.

Coughlin beat Fernando Cuadra Jr. and teammate Erica Enders in the first two rounds before dropping a close race to Matt Hartford in the semis. In doing so, Coughlin leap-frogged Enders in the Mello Yello championship standings into seventh place and now sits just 19 points behind fifth-place Jason Line. A single round of eliminations is worth 20 points.

“Historically speaking, the Western Swing is a great time to collect points and position yourself as best as possible for the upcoming Countdown to the Championship,” Coughlin said. “So, although we didn’t achieve our ultimate goal today, we did check off a few things we wanted to do and gaining a spot in the points and closing in on the top five just adds to the good weekend we’ve had.

“Aside from the No. 1 spot, which is a pretty good ways out there, the rest of us in the Pro Stock top 10 are pretty tight so the moves we can make now before the playoffs start will make a big difference.”

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Jeg Coughlin Jr. looking to master Thunder Mountain for a third time

DENVER – With two qualifying sessions taking place in the cooler evening hours, the 40th annual Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals offered the world’s best drag racers twice as many opportunities as usual to show off all of their horsepower.

Six-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. and his Elite Motorsports crew took full advantage of the situation, placing their Camaro in the lofty No. 2 position overall.

“The session tonight ended up being the best one of the weekend and we saw just about everyone step up quite a bit,” Coughlin said. “Fortunately, we were able to make a big jump as well and we finished right behind the boss (team owner and part-time driver Richard Freeman) on the timing sheet so we’re very pleased.

“The car’s gotten better every round and I expect the guys will have us set to do big things tomorrow. We’re ready to have some fun and there’s no better way to have fun in drag racing then by turning on some win lights.”

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Back-to-back wins puts Mike Coughlin in Top Dragster spotlight heading into D7 double-header weekend

SONOMA, CA – Consecutive victories in Indianapolis and Chicago has put Mike Coughlin in the spotlight of the Top Dragster class as the two-time Division 3 champion heads west for this weekend’s NHRA Division 7 Doubleheader presented by Korbel at Sonoma Raceway.

After struggling with their racecar for the better part of a year, Coughlin and his Columbus, Ohio-based crew changed to a locally-built Fowler F12 roots-style supercharger that turned their unreliable tune-up into the most consistent one they’ve ever used.

“Between qualifying and eliminations, we made eight perfect runs in Indy and eight more perfect runs in Chicago,” Coughlin said. “It’s really been quite remarkable. We’re not putting any stress on the engine and the EFI system we use is working perfectly with this blower. It’s been a dream to drive this thing.

“We’re going to ride this wave as long as we can. There’s no reason to think we can’t have another great weekend in Sonoma. I’ve only raced there once but I know it’s a beautiful facility and we expect perfect conditions. If we continue to do our thing, we’ll have a good chance.”

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Five-time Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. ready to get back in the ‘swing’ of things

DENVER – The gaps in the NHRA schedule where Pro Stock cars do not compete are over with the start of the vaunted “Western Swing” of consecutive races in Denver, Sonoma, Calif., and Seattle and five-time class champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. is pumped up about racing his Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro again.

“I’m excited to resume the title chase with my Elite teammates,” Coughlin said. “What better place to get back into the swing of things than Bandimere Speedway. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the NHRA tour and definitely one of the most picturesque of them all. Plus, we have a long relationship with the Bandimere family and just love coming here.”

Coughlin won back-to-back Pro Stock titles at Bandimere Speedway in 1998 and 1999, and was also a runner-up at the facility 2003, 2011, and 2014. Overall, he has 62 national event wins in Pro Stock and 19 more in a variety of sportsman categories.

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Team JEGS drag racer Mike Coughlin wins second straight Top Dragster trophy

Troy Coughlin Jr. runner-up in TAD after dead-even finish

JOLIET, IL – Mike Coughlin remains unbeaten in his Top Dragster ever since changing to a Fowler F12 roots-style supercharger, winning Sunday’s Burndown at Sundown Division 3 race at Route 66 Raceway. It was Coughlin’s second win in as many weekends and the first time he’s ever won two races in a row.

“If you had come to me a month ago and said I’d win two in a row I would have said ‘no way, no how,'” said Mike, a two-time Division 3 champion in Top Sportsman who switched to Top Dragster three years ago. “This is such a different racecar since we switched to the Fowler. It’s so easy to drive and it responds to everything we ask of it.

“This win is for the guys on this crew who made this change so seamless. They’re the best. Big thanks to Dad (Jeg Coughlin Sr.) too for all of his advice, and once again it was a blast having my son Clay with me.”

Sharing the spotlight in Chicago was Coughlin’s nephew Troy Coughlin Jr., who raced to his fourth runner-up finish of the season in Top Alcohol Dragster, as well as Paige Coughlin, Mike’s niece and Troy Jr.’s sister, who went five rounds in Super Comp.

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