Joliet II: Coughlins move engine program in house

COUGHLINS PRO STOCK DYNASTY MOVES ENGINE PROGRAM IN-HOUSE JOLIET, Ill. - After the productive performance last year from the Ohio-based Coughlin Racing Team, the need to change their already successful program did not seem to exist. But all good...

COUGHLINS PRO STOCK DYNASTY MOVES ENGINE PROGRAM IN-HOUSE

JOLIET, Ill. - After the productive performance last year from the Ohio-based Coughlin Racing Team, the need to change their already successful program did not seem to exist. But all good things must come to an end and the change is underway.

Combining the success of the Coughlin brothers (John, Troy, Mike and Jeg) in 2000 alone, the foursome combined for 12 national event wins in 21 final round appearances and one Winston championship (Jeg, Pro Stock). Each brother scored at least one victory, with the oldest brother, Troy, visiting the winner's circle at the lucrative all-star race, the Winston Showdown in Bristol, Tenn. Jeg won 10 races in 14 final rounds en route to the crown, and John and Mike each scored a victory in the competitive Pro Stock Truck category.

The four-vehicle Coughlin Team will be back in action and seeking wins in both classes as they compete in the Inaugural NHRA Nationals, Sept. 27-30, at the state-of-the-art Route 66 Raceway. The $1.9 million race is the 20th of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

In mid-July, after the NHRA event in Denver, the Coughlins and engine builder Dick Maskin ended their relationship. The Coughlins decided that they would take their engine program in-house and build from within their Ohio headquarters.

"I'm real happy with the way things were handled by both sides here," said Jeg at the time of the split. "You don't see it often in racing, but this is probably the cleanest break-up you'll ever come across. We both respect each other immensely."

With a limited schedule and more time dedicated to the program, the Pro Stock Truck engine program was up and running first and has come along rather quickly. Mike Coughlin put on a dominant display in his Jeg's Mail Order Chevy S-10 at the recent Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, capturing top qualifying honors and the win at the historic event. Then he followed that performance with a winning effort in Memphis, Tenn.

"The guys at our engine shop literally worked day and night to try and get those engines done for us," said Mike. "We were a little unfortunate in Indy with the cars, but we'll come around. We are going to have some more new engines in all our vehicles and hopefully be on the upswing for the rest of the year."

Mike's success is likely a sign of the future triumphs for Jeg and Troy in Pro Stock competition. Their program has made gradual progress over the second half of the year as the brothers seek to firm up their reputation as Pro Stock powerhouses.

"Our program is focused on the big picture and finishing the season with a bang," said Jeg, who has slipped to fifth in the Winston standings in recent weeks. "Team Jeg's is capable of winning every race that we enter and that is our intention at each event. We are really excited to have our own engines that we have developed from the oil pan up. Our guys have been putting in long hours and we will do our best to see that their dedication and hard work pay off in the way of a win for Team Jeg's."

-NHRA-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Coughlin