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Mike Coughlin opens 2011 with an Indy victory

Courtesy of Jegs

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Mike Coughlin took his first steps towards a third NHRA North Central Division Top Sportsman championship after guiding his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt to victory Sunday in the season-opening event at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.

For Coughlin, the win was his fourth at the historic venue including his two Pro Stock Truck victories at the prestigious U.S. Nationals. He also won the Top Sportsman class at the 2008 Indy Lucas Oil Series event. More importantly, the victory was first since recovering from hip and knee surgery that kept him sidelined for most of the 2010 season.

“I didn’t get a chance to race much last year and I really missed it,” said Coughlin. “It is good to be back. I really enjoy racing and I’ve gotten a lot of support from my family and all my fellow racers. I didn’t feel any pain at all today. My knee has never been better and my hip is almost perfect. My wife, Kriss, and our sons, Jack and Clay, were here with me this weekend and it couldn’t have been any better.”

Coughlin’s driving was solid throughout all five rounds but he was especially impressive in the final where he had a nearly-perfect .001 reaction time and ran a 6.76 on his 6.75 dial-in to defeat opponent Billy Thoman, who broke out at the finish. Ironically, Coughlin also had a .001 reaction time when he defeated Scott Perin for his first U.S. Nationals Pro Stock Truck win in 1999.

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BARTONE VICTORIOUS IN BAYTOWN!

Courtesy of Rick Jackson Racing

Baytown, TX – Tony Bartone, and the Rick Jackson Racing Centre Pointe Collision Center Top Alcohol Funny Car team captured their third consecutive National Hot Rod Association National Event victory and extended their National Points lead with an event victory at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals contested this weekend at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas. The victory was also the second straight win in Texas for the Centre Pointe team after capturing the Lucas Oil Divisional Series Event a few weeks earlier at the Texas Motor-Plex in Ennis.

Heading into final eliminations at RHP, Bartone entered the field in the final qualifying position (number 13) after problems plagued the Santa Clarita, Calif. team in qualifying. Bartone lined up against second generation driver John Lombardo Jr., who qualified solidly in the number two position. In his 20 plus years of racing, Bartone had captured victories in 79 percent of his round one races, but based on the qualifying problems and an even 1-1 record against Lombardo Jr. in previous match-ups, this was anybody’s race.

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FIRST ROUND EXIT PROVIDES INSPIRATION FOR JON CAPPS

Courtesy of Paul Smith Racing

Baytown, TX – A first round loss to NHRA Full Throttle Series veteran Tim Wilkerson may have ended the weekend racing festivities for Jon Capps and the Biesenbach Inc. / Paul Smith Racing Monte Carlo Funny Car, but for Capps, who made his first National Hot Rod Association Professional Category start this season at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals held at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas, the weekend was nothing short of a winning effort.

The Las Vegas, Nev. resident and Admissions Councilor for WyoTech Automotive Transportation and Technical College (http://www.wyotech.edu), took the reins of legendary Independent Funny Car owner Paul Smith’s competitive Monte Carlo bodied Nitro Funny Car this weekend, with support from David Biesenbach and his company Biesenbach Inc. (http://www.biesenbach.com) and long-time friend Henry Gutierrez the owner of Bexar Waste. Capps entered eliminations qualified in the number 15 position and paired up against Springfield, Ill.’s Tim Wilkerson, the driver of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang.

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Coughlin continues to progress in Pro Mod competition

Courtesy of Jegs

HOUSTON, TX – Although he’s running the smallest engine configuration in the Pro Mod class, JEGS.com racer Troy Coughlin successfully qualified for this weekend’s 24th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals and had a great chance of advancing out of Saturday evening’s opening round of eliminations. But this time it just wasn’t meant to be.

Coughlin qualified with a 6.097-second run at 245.58 mph Saturday morning, which pitted him against Danny Rowe in the first round of eliminations. When the money was on the line against Rowe, Coughlin pulled off his best pass of the weekend — a 6.060 at 246.39 mph — in arguably the worst conditions of the event, but Rowe was a tick better, sending Coughlin home by a few hundredths of a second.

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JON CAPPS PLEASED WITH FIRST DAY EFFORT IN BAYTOWN

Courtesy Paul Smith

Baytown, Texas – After three year break from the highly competitive NHRA Nitro Funny Car contingent, versatile NHRA Nitro Pilot Jon Capps dusted off the cobwebs and ended the first day of qualifying at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals provisionally qualified in the number 11 position, behind the wheel of Paul Smith’s owned and tuned Monte Carlo Funny Car.

For the Las Vegas, Nev. resident, the return to the NHRA Big Show was exactly what he expected and so much more.

“It was awesome to get back into Paul’s car today,” noted Capps, who returned to the NHRA Full Throttle Series and promptly laid down a solid 4.262 Elapsed Time in the first qualifying session of the day. “Heading into our first run, we planned to lay down a good base-line to prepare for the cooler conditions in Q-2. Before that pass I had not raced in the (new to me) 1,000’ format and to be honest, I kind of over thought what was going to happen.

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ADRL’s Extreme 10.5 Class Featured On Saturday’s “Lucas Oil On The Edge!”

Courtesy of ADRL

O’FALLON, MO — The American Drag Racing League (ADRL) and its Extreme 10.5 class will be featured on Saturday’s “Lucas Oil On The Edge!” which airs at 7 p.m. EST on SPEED.

The show will center around the 2010 Extreme 10.5 “Battle For The Belts,” which took place last October at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas.

It will also re-air at 3:30 p.m. EST on Monday.

This action-packed episode will feature all of the exciting highlights from the memorable event that crowned a 2010 ADRL World Champion in one of the league’s most thrilling classes.

Featuring standout drivers like Dan Millen, Billy Glidden, Gary White, Todd Moyer, Spiro Pappas and Chuck Ulsch, the Extreme 10.5 “Battle For The Belts” showcased the top eight drivers in the class as they battled it for a world title.

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Bob Bauer Jr looks forward to 2011 Quick 32 Series

 Courtesy of Quick 32                                                                

ELMA, NY – He has been behind the wheel of his Top Sportsman car for only one season, but Bob Bauer Jr is ready to join the drag racing action in the upcoming Quick 32 Sportsman Series presented by NAPA Auto Parts.

“This is only my second season with the car,” said the driver of the Bauer Racing entry, “but for the most part we’ve got it figured out.”

The 2007 Pontiac GTO is a Torrelli Pro Cars product, with a 632-cubic inch Jan-Cen Racing Engines powerplant. The big-block is fueled with a Jan-Cen/Speedtech – Single Stage fogger nitrous system, and behind the engine sits an R & R Racing Transmissions T/S Powerglide with a 10-inch BDR Converter. Continue reading

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