Mopar and Four-Time NHRA Pro Stock Champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. Unveil New Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger at SEMA Show
Jeg Jr. to Compete Under the Mopar Banner in the NHRA Pro Stock Class in 2012
• Elite NHRA Driver Jeg Jr. Ends One-year Pro Stock Hiatus to Join Team Mopar
• Four-time NHRA Champ Will Join Veteran Allen Johnson in the Team Mopar Lineup
• JNR Racing Engine Shop to Supply Mopar HEMI Engines for Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s Dodge Avenger
• Mopar and JEGS to Strengthen Bonds in the Brands’ Performance Parts Business
• Mopar, along with partners Pennzoil® and Magneti Marelli, to expand relationship with NHRA Funny Car driver Matt Hagan
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Mopar® revealed today at the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas that four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. will join the Team Mopar roster in 2012, campaigning a new Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock class.
“Jeg Jr. is a proven winner, with four Pro Stock championships on his résumé,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “We are thrilled to add an elite driver to Team Mopar, and we look forward to sharing in his great success at the drag strip next season.”
“I’m extremely excited to join forces with Mopar in 2012,” said Jeg Jr., the only racer in the history of the NHRA to win a national event in six different classes. “The entire Coughlin Brothers Racing team has high expectations for the 2012 season and we expect to field a premier program with our Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger team, from top to bottom.”
Jeg Coughlin Jr. will join veteran racer Allen Johnson as the only two drivers in the Pro Stock class directly sponsored by Mopar.
“Adding Jeg Jr. to the Team Mopar roster is a great addition for the brand,” said Allen Johnson, driver of the Mopar Dodge Avenger. “This puts at least two very strong Mopar cars in the Pro Stock field next year, and I think it gives the brand an excellent chance of seeing a Mopar-powered driver bring home the Pro Stock championship in 2012.”
“Allen Johnson and his father Roy Johnson have a long history with Mopar and have built a highly respected program with their J&J Racing team,” said Jeg Jr. “Between our two teams, I think you’re going to see a Mopar Dodge in the winner’s circle at many NHRA events next year.
“When we pull through the gates at Pomona for the NHRA Winternationals (the 2012 season-opening event), with the lofty goals we’ve set for ourselves, we expect to have a car that can qualify on the pole and win on Sunday. I believe the Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge will be able to fire some shots off the bow immediately.”
The announcement marks a return to the Pro Stock class by Jeg Jr. after a one-year hiatus. It’s also a return to the Mopar fold for the 40-year-old Delaware, Ohio native, who has a long history with the brand. Jeg Jr. captured the 2004 U.S. Nationals Mopar HEMI® Challenge event win driving a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda, raced a Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Pro Stock car during the 2005 NHRA season and currently owns and occasionally competes in Sportsman events in a Mopar Challenger Drag Pak.
“I have a number of firsts involving Mopar,” said Jeg Jr. “My first car was a 1983 Dodge Charger. One of my first jobs as a teenager at our JEGS business was to organize the warehouse and create space for a brand that was expanding its parts line — the Mopar Direct Connection brand.
“The passion I’ve witnessed in the folks I’ve dealt with at Mopar and Chrysler Group is second-to-none. Their enthusiasm and excitement is a big reason this program came together, and that passion is something that will fuel our team next year.”
JNR Racing shop to supply Mopar HEMI engines for Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s Dodge
Jeg Jr. will go in-house to crank out the Mopar HEMI engines needed to power his Pro Stock cars, utilizing his new JNR Racing engine shop, located in Mooresville, N.C., to supply a steady stream of Mopar HEMIs.
Jeg Jr. and his family announced their new engine shop venture with partners Nick Ferri and Roy Simmons earlier this year. The duo teamed with Jeg Jr. on his engine program in the early 2000s, and the group has combined to earn multiple Pro Stock championships since 2002.
“We’re really excited to join back up with Nick and Roy,” said Jeg Jr., who will act as both team owner and driver for his Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge. “Coupled with our new relationships with Mopar and Chrysler Group engineers, I think we’re really going to see some great noise out of our Mopar HEMIs.”
Jeg Jr.’s new team will be headquartered out of the Coughlin Brothers Racing shop in Delaware, Ohio. The Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge squad will enjoy plenty of family support, with Jeg Jr. working closely with his brothers and fellow team owners John, Troy and Mike Coughlin. Jeg Jr.’s father, Jeg Coughlin Sr., will act as a team adviser for both the engine shop and at-track operation. To tune the Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger, which will run under a Haas chassis, Coughlin Jr. turned to Finland native Tomi Laine, a renowned European Pro Stock champion who has worked with a number of NHRA Pro Stock teams.
“I think Tomi will do a great job with us, and my dad, my brothers and I have been extremely successful together,” said Jeg Jr. “Mopar Dodge Avenger driver Allen Johnson is also competing with a Haas chassis, so it seemed wise to choose a similar car to maximize the sharing of data obtained from aerodynamic and technological tests. I’m very comfortable with the way things are lining up with the Mopar/JEGS.com team.”
Mopar and JEGS to strengthen bonds in the brands’ performance parts business
The new alliance between Mopar and Jeg Jr. will also extend to the JEGS family business, founded by Jeg’s father, Jeg Coughlin Sr., in 1960. Mopar and JEGS, both leaders in the performance parts arena, will look to grow their relationship in aftermarket parts sales.
“The JEGS name is a respected source for performance parts,” said Gorlier. “We look forward to taking advantage of the many avenues in which the JEGS brand can help us provide Mopar parts to our customers, including through JEGS retail stores, the brand’s mail-order program and JEGS online Web site.”
“We’re excited not only to be associated with the Mopar brand on the drag strip, but also to help extend the Mopar brand to the hundreds of thousands of JEGS customers, and service those customers with the Mopar brand of parts that they need,” said Jeg Coughlin Jr.
Mopar, along with partners Pennzoil® and Magneti Marelli, to expand relationship with NHRA Funny Car driver Matt Hagan
Mopar also announced at the SEMA show in Las Vegas that the brand will expand its longstanding relationship with Don Schumacher Racing and its sponsorship of Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Matt Hagan. Mopar, along with partners Pennzoil® and Magneti Marelli, will increase its presence on Hagan’s car for the entire 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Hagan raced with a special Mopar graphics scheme on his Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car this season at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, qualifying third and making it to the finals of the event. He also carried the Mopar colors at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, where he reached the semifinals.
“Matt Hagan is one of the best young talents on the NHRA circuit and has been a great brand ambassador for Mopar,” said Gorlier. “Mopar has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Don Schumacher Racing, one of the elite organizations in motorsports, and we are happy to increase our sponsorship on Matt Hagan’s Dodge, and welcome partners Pennzoil and Magneti Marelli in support as well.”