Five-time world champion Coughlin announces return to Pro Stock
LAS VEGAS (Nov. 1) -- Five-time world champion drag racer Jeg Coughlin Jr. used the main stage of the world-renowned SEMA show to announce a return to the NHRA's Pro Stock class in 2012 behind the wheel of a JEGS.com and Mopar-sponsored Dodge Avenger, which will be powered by a 500 cubic inch HEMI motor built in-house at JNR Racing Engines.
Coughlin, along with engine builders Nick Ferri and Roy Simmons, have been working closely with motorsports experts at Chrysler Technology Center (CTC) for the past several months to prepare for a full-scale assault on the Full Throttle Championship.
"The adrenaline is definitely pumping," Coughlin said. "The level of factory support Mopar is providing is fantastic and I think it's going to be very special. The passion the CTC and Mopar folks have for drag racing and for taking the their brand to the top of the sport is invigorating. These guys and gals are on a mission and we're thrilled to be working with them.
"There's no doubt we have the capacity to be frontrunners right from the start of the season in Pomona (Calif.). We've spent the last several months building JNR Racing Engines from the ground up and Roy and Nick have worked tirelessly to make this program happen. They are both world champions in their own right and have the same desire to win as we do here at Team JEGS. Everything is coming together perfectly."
Although he hasn't competed in Pro Stock for one year, Coughlin has continued to drag race in a variety of Sportsman classes, winning numerous bracket races as well as a national event. Coughlin captured Pro Stock titles in 2000, 2002, 2007 and 2008. He also won the Super Gas championship in 1992.
"I expect I'll have the jitters the first time I get back in a Pro Stock car but I took off nine months once before and it all came back very quickly that time," the 41-year-old Coughlin said. "We'll be testing the car in the off season and that should help me get back in rhythm.
"We just took delivery of the car and I can say that Jerry Haas and his staff have really done an outstanding job with this Dodge Avenger. It's beautiful, and it looks great in our familiar JEGS yellow and black. We're also very honored to have partners like Mopar, Speedco and KYMCO USA. It's going to be a special year."
Coughlin's official return to action takes place Feb. 9-12 with the 52nd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.