ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 29) -- Drag Racing champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. grew up in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, and was fortunate enough to learn the game of golf at Muirfield Golf Club, the site of this weekend's Memorial PGA Tournament. In fact, his father Jeg Coughlin Sr. went to high school with none other than tournament host and golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, a longtime friend of the Coughlin family.
Although golf and drag racing are two drastically different sports, Jeg Jr. says the lessons he learned on the links at Muirfield apply very well to his career behind the wheel of his 1,400-horsepower JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger, which he'll wheel into this weekend's 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
"You have to be patient in both sports," Coughlin said. "You want to hit that 300-yard drive every time, just kill it, but maybe that's not the best move. Same with drag racing; you want to set a world record every pass but some times it's a better idea to just get the car down the racetrack and take the win light.
"We started a new team this year and although our group is very seasoned, we have to remember the basics every time we go up there to make a pass. We need to see what the track will give us and make a good run in Q1 and tune from there. We need to make four good passes in qualifying to put ourselves in position to win rounds on Sunday. We want to win as much as ever, but we need to be patient."
Coughlin has tasted success at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park on four occasions, with three wins in Pro Stock (2009, 2000 and 1998) and another victory in Super Gas in 1997. He also recorded runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2002.
"We feel like we're building momentum," Coughlin said. "Every motor we build at JNR comes out a little bit better than the last one and the guys on the crew are making the right adjustments on the chassis. We're pecking away at it.
"Just like in a golf tournament, our first big goal this year is to make the cut for the Countdown to 1 playoffs. We have nine races left to earn a spot and we're focused on that goal.
"Englishtown would be a great place to take a big step forward. We've won there before, the fans are some of the most knowledgeable and passionate in the sport and the facility hold legendary status for drag racers. It's one of our majors. We're not holding anything back."