Sonoma: Jeg Coughlin Jr preview

Happy summer for Coughlin at Camp Cagnazzi SONOMA, Calif. (July 24) -- The 20th annual Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals at beautiful Infineon Raceway in the world renowned California Wine Country represents the sixth and final race of an...

Happy summer for Coughlin at Camp Cagnazzi

SONOMA, Calif. (July 24) -- The 20th annual Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals at beautiful Infineon Raceway in the world renowned California Wine Country represents the sixth and final race of an unprecedented run of six consecutive drag races in six weekends. It's been a summer-long grind that has taken its toll on many teams, but lifelong drag racer Jeg Coughlin Jr. has had as much fun as a kid at summer camp.

"I'd race every weekend year-round if I could," the three-time world champion said. "It has been a little exhausting and maybe like a kid at summer camp would tell you, we might all be a little homesick at this point, but it's been a lot of fun."

Time flies when you're having fun and Coughlin's summer has included many smiles as the JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt race team, which is owned by Victor Cagnazzi, has experienced two national event victories, a runner-up result, and more elimination-round wins (14) than anyone else in the Pro Stock class since the Chicago race. Coughlin has also secured a spot in the Countdown to the Championship eight-car playoff field.

With 36 Pro Stock wins and 13 sportsman titles in his career, Coughlin also sits on the verge of a landmark 50th NHRA title, a plateau very few racers have ever reached. He'd love to finish his "Summer Swing" with No. 50 at one of his favorite tracks on the circuit.

"The hair on my arms stands up every time someone mentions 50 wins," the 37-year-old from Delaware, Ohio, said. "I never would have imagined I'd have so much success. It's been a blessing and a tribute to the great people we've surrounded ourselves with over the years. If I sit and think about it, I can remember every win and they are all very special to me and the entire JEGS family. I'm honored and humbled.

"It would be the perfect end to the summer to collect that 50th win at Sonoma. It's a track that can be extremely quick, which favors our team, and it's in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The staff there is second-to-none, and the fans are as knowledgeable and supportive of drag racing as any place we go."

Including this weekend's race, only three events remain before the Countdown to the Championship begins. Beginning with the U.S. Nationals in Indy, the new playoff-style format narrows the class to eight racers who will be eligible for the 2007 title. Four races later, the group will be trimmed again to four racers who will run for glory.

"It'll be exciting right down to the end," Coughlin said. 'It's nice that we secured a spot with a little time to spare and my teammate Dave Connolly got his spot Sunday in Seattle so we're both over the first hurdle. I can't wait to get started and see how everything turns out. But first things first; we've got a big race this weekend in Sonoma and we'd love to win another Wally."

-credit: team jegs

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin