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Points leader Coughlin invigorated by razor-close Pro Stock battle ATLANTA (April 20) -- Reigning series champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. has a fight on his hands in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class, and the 52-time national event winner couldn't...

Points leader Coughlin invigorated by razor-close Pro Stock battle

ATLANTA (April 20) -- Reigning series champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. has a fight on his hands in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class, and the 52-time national event winner couldn't be happier. Coughlin will arrive at Atlanta Dragway in a tie for first place in the factory hot rod class and he knows a strong performance at the race he won in Y2K will put him all alone atop the POWERade standings. He also knows his foes are waiting to pounce on any stumble he might make.

"It's the nature of the beast this year," Coughlin said. "We've had four different winners in the first five events and the guy that's won twice is third in the points. Go figure. What you have is a very solid group of teams that have challenged every weekend so we're all matched up pretty well. It's become a real driver's class and that's exciting to me."

After winning a preseason test race in Las Vegas, Coughlin has racked up one victory, one runner-up, one third-place, and two fifth-place finishes this year in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt. His last two finishes have been his lowest -- quarterfinal results in Houston and Vegas -- yet he's still riding high with the No. 1 ranking.

"It's been a great start to the season, Houston and Vegas notwithstanding," said the 37-year-old from Delaware, Ohio. "We need to get back where we're going to the semis and finals every race, but it's hard to complain when you look at the total picture. These guys have given me a great car and we're all up for this incredible fight."

Prior to the event, Coughlin and the other reigning champions from the professional ranks will be honored at an annual dinner put on by The Coca-Cola Company.  The 2008 NHRA POWERade Partnership Dinner will be held at the World of Coca-Cola this year.

"They have a really neat dinner each year when we come to Atlanta where they invite all of the POWERade champions," Coughlin said. "This year will be extra special because my father (Jeg. Sr.) and his wife Sue are coming, along with my wonderful team owners, Victor and Brita Cagnazzi. This will be their first Coca-Cola dinner so it'll be a lot of fun.

"I'm honored to be a part of this and we can't thank The Coca-Cola Company and all the folks that represent the POWERade brand for everything they do for our sport."

Once the festivities are over and Coughlin gets to the track, he'll have more on his mind than his own race team.

"My brothers Mike and Troy are racing this event and I can't wait to hang out with them," Coughlin said. "Mike hasn't run a national event in a few years but they're hosting the Dart Top Sportsman category here so he'll be representing Div. 3, where he won the championship last year. And Troy has his JEGS.com GTO ready to turn some heads in the JEGS ProMod Challenge. He and Pops have been testing like crazy and they tell me that car is ready to rock-n-roll. Maybe the whole weekend will have a yellow-and-black theme to it. That's the plan!"

-credit: team jegs

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin