Pro Stock champ Coughlin to start new season in a bobsled
DELAWARE, Ohio (Dec. 20) -- POWERade Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. isn't wasting any time to return to racing in 2008 as the 51-time national event winner was chosen to be a part of Team NHRA at the third annual Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, Jan. 3-5, in Lake Placid, N.Y. Coughlin and four fellow drag racers will take on Team NASCAR in the fundraising event, which raises money for the United States Olympic Bobsledding Team.
"I'm as excited as a kid on that first day of snow," said Coughlin, who lives in Delaware, Ohio. "I've done my fair share of sledding over the years, even recently with my son Jeggie III, but this is a considerable step up in equipment."
Coughlin was asked to participate by defending event runner-up Morgan Lucas, a Top Fuel driver on the POWERade Drag Racing Series. Sponsored in part my Lucas Oil, the Bodine Bobsled Challenge supports Bo-Dyn Bobsleds, which has designed and built American-made bobsleds for the U.S. Olympic Bobsled team since 1992.
Prior to Bodine's involvement, the U.S. team used old, out-dated sleds purchased from other countries. Since the Bo-Dyn project began, the U.S. team has soared in the world rankings and now routinely collects Olympic and World Cup medals.
This year's Bodine Bobsled Challenge will pit the five best NASCAR participants against Team NHRA to see which racers can collectively master the 18-turn bobsled course at the Olympic Sports Complex. Team NASCAR includes defending event champ Boris Said, Todd Bodine, Johnny Benson, Ron Hornaday, Randy LaJoie, Donnie Lia, Joey Lagona, and Steve Carlson. Aside from Lucas and J.R. Todd, the Team NHRA racers -- Coughlin, Bob Vandergriff, and Doug Herbert -- are newcomers to the event.
"It's a heckuva ride," Lucas said. "It's a real touchy deal steering those things but from everything I understand those Pro Stock cars make you feel like you're sliding on ice some times so I bet Jeggie will do great from the start. It's very cool that he's taking some time out of his schedule to be a part of our team. It's always neat to have a world champion on your team, let alone a four-time champion."
Olympic-caliber bobsleds cost $50,000. Practice sleds can be made for about $10,000. Aside from their time on the course, the NHRA and NASCAR stars will participate in several activities to raise money for the project.
"I'm up for the challenge," Coughlin said. "They're going to give us a bunch of instruction and some of our great Olympians will be there to help so we'll try to figure these deals out. I hope we raise all the money the men's and women's Olympic teams need to bring home some more medals from the 2010 Games in Canada. This is so awesome to be a part of this experience."
Visit www.bodynbobsled.com for tickets and more information.
-credit: team jegs