Englishtown: Jeg Coughlin Jr preview

Streaking Coughlin has big birthday plans ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 18) -- The NHRA is about to embark on an unprecedented stretch of six national events in six weeks. It will be a grueling run, to be sure, but one that three-time series champion...

Streaking Coughlin has big birthday plans

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 18) -- The NHRA is about to embark on an unprecedented stretch of six national events in six weeks. It will be a grueling run, to be sure, but one that three-time series champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. is looking forward to with great anticipation.

It's no wonder Coughlin is excited. The driver of the JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt is the tour's most recent winner, having claimed the Wally at the last stop in Chicago. He's also raced to three finals in the last five events and moved up to second in the world rankings, proving he's a bonafide contender for this year's POWERade title.

Add to that the fact he's enjoyed great success at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the site of this weekend's 38th annual ProCare Rx NHRA SuperNationals presented by R2B2 Motors, and it's plain to see why the popular Coughlin is anxious to get started.

"We're certainly on a high right now," said Coughlin, who will celebrate his 37th birthday Saturday. "(Team owner) Victor Cagnazzi had a vision to put together a race team that would contend for the championship year after year and he's arrived at that point after an incredible amount of hard work and determination. Dave (Connolly, teammate) and I are just the lucky guys who get to drive the cars.

"This is Victor's home track. He's a New York guy. So we definitely want to give him a weekend to remember because I'm sure all of his friends will be on hand. Plus, we have new marketing sponsors with Cisco Systems and they're all coming down from the city to see drag racing for the first time so it'll be awesome to do well for them."

Coughlin is no stranger to Old Bridge's winner's circle, claiming four of his 48 career victories at the historic facility. His first win came in 1997 when he won the Super Gas title, which helped him become the first driver in NHRA history to win in four categories in one season (Pro Stock, Super Stock, Competition Eliminator and Super Gas). He then won three Pro Stock trophies in a row from 1998-2000, including the Holley Dominator Duel in 1999 bracketed by two national event wins.

"This track is one of my favorites, and not just because we've done well in the past," Coughlin said. "To me, it's one of the places where all the legends have raced and you just want to be a part of its history. You also have a very, very knowledgeable base of fans that really appreciate Pro Stock racing, so that's a nice bonus.

"The way we're running, having six races in a row seems like it plays right into our hands. This stretch of races will pretty much set the eight cars that will battle for the championship this year so it'll be imperative to maintain our performance.

"It's not very often you can give yourself a birthday gift as good as a Wally but that's what we're going to try and do. That would certainly make for a special birthday."   -credit: team jegs

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin