Las Vegas II: Jeg Coughlin preview

Jeg ready to run under the Las Vegas sun; Rested Troy back for more Most visitors to Las Vegas can't wait for the sun to go down. Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin prefers the opposite, and considering his perfect 3-0 mark in final-round appearances...

Jeg ready to run under the Las Vegas sun; Rested Troy back for more

Most visitors to Las Vegas can't wait for the sun to go down. Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin prefers the opposite, and considering his perfect 3-0 mark in final-round appearances at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it's hard to argue with him.

Over the course of his career competing at The Strip, including his string of consecutive victories in 2000, 2001, and 2002, Coughlin has noticed a dazzling issue that can make or break a driver's day. So far, he's found a way to use this anomaly to his favor.

"I think probably more than any place we go, maybe besides Seattle at sunset, the sun can really affect the outcome of races here," Coughlin said. "It's just the way the track is positioned and the various shadows and glimmers you get at different times of the day, it seems like every time you look at the Christmas Tree it looks different.

"When you get down to race day lane choice can be critical. It seems everyone likes the left side but the right lane isn't considerably worse and there are definitely times when you have a very hard time seeing the Tree when you're in the left lane so it is vitally important to keep lane choice. In Las Vegas, it can be the difference between winning and losing."

Coughlin is a three-time world champion (two in Pro Stock and one in Super Gas) and has 45 national event victories to his credit, including 33 wins in Pro Stock. Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been one of his better tracks.

"Like many of my fellow racers we really enjoy this race," Coughlin said. "The track is superb, the facility is top-notch, and there's that glimmering glow of Las Vegas on the horizon. It's an exciting town and a place where you can have a lot of fun.

"I feel the same surge of adrenaline pulling through the gates here as I do in Indy or at National Trail Raceway (his home track in Columbus, Ohio.) This time though we're coming off a strong semifinal showing in Dallas and our Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T is running as strong as it has all year. We've got two races left in the season and we'd love to finish well."

Troy Coughlin must be confident with the results of his rookie season in Pro Mod as he elected to skip the rescheduled AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge event in Dallas in early October. Troy had scheduled a vacation with his wife long before Hurricane Rita forced NHRA officials to move the event back two weeks from its original date. When the rainout time was announced, Troy didn't hesitate to nix the race, despite the fact he's in a heated battle to two separate points battles.

"The main reason I got out of Pro Stock and started racing Pro Mod was because the reduced number of races on the Pro Mod schedule would allow more time with my family," Troy said. "I didn't want to skip any races when I committed to run the series but my family comes first and the choice was easy."

Fortunately, the decision didn't squash his hopes in either the AMS Challenge rankings or the special third annual Flowmaster Pro Mod Clash, a special race that pits the top eight qualifiers from the previous year against one another for big cash prizes. Troy slipped just one spot in the regular points standings and managed to hold onto the last position in the Clash, which will be contested this weekend in Las Vegas.

"I could skip the rest of the year and I would still be totally happy with the season," Troy said. "We won Englishtown, we've proven to everyone that we have an extremely fast race car, and we're having a bunch of fun. But the racer inside is always fighting to get out and we have two very important events this weekend. I'm fired up and ready because I know we'll contend for both trophies."

-team jegs-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin