Coughlin confident about defending his Super Stock Hemi Challenge title Jeg Coughlin has every intention of defending his Super Stock Hemi Challenge crown at this year's 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Calling...
Coughlin confident about defending his Super Stock Hemi Challenge title
Jeg Coughlin has every intention of defending his Super Stock Hemi Challenge crown at this year's 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Calling it one of the biggest thrills of his career, Coughlin will try to repeat his impressive victory in the same record-setting 1968 Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock/A-Automatic he drove a year ago for West Coat Hemis legends Michael Ogburn and Harry Holton.
Last year, Coughlin emerged from a tough group of class professionals and took out veteran Rick Houser in the finals by just one-hundredth of a second. Coughlin posted the quickest elapsed time of all five elimination rounds en route to his win. In the trophy round, Coughlin caught and passed Houser, taking the stripe in 8.790 seconds at 149.80 mph to Houser's 8.807 at 149.51 mph.
"It was such an honor just to be a part of that race," Coughlin said. "To have Harry and Michael invite me back again this year is too good to be true. The guys in that class are very professional and to be able to jump in a car for the first time and run with them was fantastic. I can't wait to do it all over again this year. We're up for another big showing."
Prior to last year's Super Stock Hemi Challenge, Coughlin, a three-time series champion with 45 national event victories in four different classes, had never raced a Super Stock/A-Automatic car before. The fact he slipped into the cockpit of the quickest and fastest racecar of its type in the world the West Coast Hemis Barracuda holds the national records of 8.53 and 153.83 mph merely bolstered his confidence.
"I had a great car last year, no question," Coughlin said. "And I expect no less this time around. Harry is an exceptional tuner and I'd like to think my driving is okay, so I think we'll have a good shot at defending this win.
"It's such a different discipline. The way you stage the car, the Christmas Tree, the launch, the driving you do down the racetrack, it's completely different from my Pro Stock car. Still, it's a great way to put you into that competition mode early, which is never a bad thing at the U.S. Nationals. We're ready for this race."
Coughlin was a Super Stock All-Star in 1997 and won the Div. 3 Super Stock title in both 1994 and 1997. Of his 45 national event wins, seven have come in Super Stock. For the record, the Super Stock Hemi Challenge is a special race, not a national event. As always, it will be run during Friday's qualifying sessions.
In addition to the Super Stock Hemi Challenge, Coughlin will be driving his Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T in the Pro Stock category, meaning he'll have a chance to collect three trophies in Indy this year the Hemi Challenge, the Super Stock class, and the Pro Stock title.