Indianapolis: Jeg Coughlin preview

Jeg going for rare Indy triple Indianapolis, IN (Sept. 1-6): Three-time world champion Jeg Coughlin will be going for a rare drag racing trifecta at this year's 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. The 45-time national event winner will try...

Jeg going for rare Indy triple

Indianapolis, IN (Sept. 1-6): Three-time world champion Jeg Coughlin will be going for a rare drag racing trifecta at this year's 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. The 45-time national event winner will try to win the U.S. Nationals in his Jeg's Mail Order Pro Stock car and the Super Stock Hemi Challenge and Super Stock class championship in Michael Ogburn's West Coast Hemi Barracuda. It will be an exhausting, but exciting weekend of racing.

"Seven straight days of drag racing," Coughlin said. "It doesn't get any better then that."

The Super Stock Hemi Challenge is a special race within a race that will be contested Friday between regular rounds of professional time trails. Although it's a sportsman-level race, Coughlin says a win in this competitive class would mean a lot to him, as would the regular Super Stock class championship.

"The Hemi Challenge is huge," the 34-year-old Coughlin said. "When you combine the big corporate backing with the culture of racers from across the country that will be competing in this race, it makes it every bit as prominent as a professional title.

"I'd say the same for the class championship. When you're a sportsman racer, and sportsman racing runs deep in this family, you know winning class at Indy is about as big as it gets. Just like in the Pros, when you win class at Indy it's an honor that can never be taken away from you. It's Indy, so it's special no matter how you slice it."

Coughlin has seven national event wins in Super Stock. He was a Super Stock All-Star in 1997 and won the Div. 3 Super Stock title in 1994 and 1997. Additionally, he knows how to get the job done on drag racing's biggest stage, having already won the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals on three occasions, including a sportsman-level victory in 1992 in the Super Gas class, which propelled him to the world title that same season. He also won Indy's Pro Stock title in 2000 and 2002, the same years he won the POWERade Pro Stock Championship.

"There are plenty of expectations of me," Coughlin said. "It's a huge challenge ahead of me but the goals I have set out are all attainable. I'm really pumped up to race."

The Coughlin family has a long and impressive U.S. Nationals resume. Beginning with family patriarch Jeg Coughlin Sr.'s Pro Comp runner-up finish in 1975, the Coughlin clan can boast of six victories in eight final rounds among the five racing Coughlin men. A Coughlin family member has won at the U.S. Nationals in four of the last five years.

"That fires me up," Jeg said. "National Trail in Ohio is our home track but Indianapolis Raceway Park is a close second. We've been racing there for a long time, at the U.S. Nationals and in Divisional events, and that familiarity with the racetrack can only help."

Jeg isn't the only Coughlin trying for multiple Wally trophies this year. Brother Mike will be racing in both Super Comp and Super Gas. Mike has two Indy wins, having claimed the Pro Stock Truck title at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1999 and 2001.

With 33 Pro Stock victories in 50 final-round appearances in his career, Jeg knows the importance of scoring a win in his primary ride, the Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier. Coming off a final four showing in Memphis, Tenn., where he had the second quickest racecar, Jeg is anxious to hit the racetrack once again in Indy.

"We've placed a lot of emphasis on this event," Jeg said. "We have two new motors coming out of our engine shop. The first one was ready for Memphis and it obviously was a step up from what we had before. The second one will be done well before Indy and it looks even more promising so we're excited. Our performance picked up considerably in Memphis and we hope to continue down that path.

"We'll even have some good luck charms with us. Dad's Austin he raced there in the mid-'70s will be a part of the 50 Years of the U.S. Nationals parade and we're going to have the 1927 T-Roadster I won the 1992 championship with on display in our pit. If all goes according to plans, we'll leave town with some more positive memories."

-www.teamjegs.com

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin