Bristol: Jeg Coughlin Jr preview

'Dejà vu all over again' would please Coughlin in Bristol return BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 8) -- Yogi Berra's famous quote, "It's like dejà vu all over again," would suit reigning series champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. just fine as the 52-time national ...

'Dejà vu all over again' would please Coughlin in Bristol return

BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 8) -- Yogi Berra's famous quote, "It's like dejà vu all over again," would suit reigning series champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. just fine as the 52-time national event winner returns to Bristol Dragway May 16-18 for the eighth annual O'Reilly Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals.

Coughlin had a banner weekend last year in eastern Tennessee, qualifying No. 1 with low elapsed time of the meet and plowing through the field for the victory. It was a memorable day for Coughlin as it made him a winner at every track on the NHRA tour, aside from the newly added events in Norwalk, Ohio, and Charlotte.

"I've always enjoyed Bristol," Coughlin said, "so it was very exciting to finally win a national event there in 2007. We'd won the Winston Showdown All-Star race in Bristol back in 1999 but as far as national event's go, we needed to mark it off our list. The fact we've won everywhere on tour besides the two new places is a credit to the exceptional teams I've been associated with, and certainly this Victor Cagnazzi group is no different.

"This is one of Bruton Smith's tracks and everything he does is second-to-none. The entire facility, his staff, the layout there in the Smokey Mountains -- there's so much to like about that place and I can't wait to get back and defend our title."

Currently second in the POWERade championship rankings, just seven points behind leader Jason Line and less than a round ahead of Kurt Johnson and Greg Anderson, Coughlin knows how important a big weekend is to his title defense.

"It all started here for us last year," Coughlin said. "This was our first win of '07 so it was an important jumping off point to our fourth championship. Fortunately, we've already won a race this year so a successful defense in Bristol would add to that. I know one thing for sure, if we win the race we'll leave town with the points lead. It's so close."

Across the facility from the drag strip, Coughlin will be participating in the NHRA Circle Track Challenge against many of his drag racing rivals. The event, which begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at historic Bristol Motor Speedway, puts the straight-liners in Street Stock cars to see who the best is at turning left.

"I'm having a blast doing all these specialty races," Coughlin said. "They've got me teamed up with the owner of the car they're going to put me in first and turn me loose for the first of two segments. Hopefully, I can hand the car off to him at the halfway point of the race and give him a chance to win this deal. Either way, we're going to have some fun with all the other drag racers taking part in this deal."

-credit: team jegs

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Kurt Johnson , Greg Anderson , Jason Line