Focus, focus, focus. With two-races remaining on the 2002 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule and a 108-point lead it might appear as though Jeg Coughlin Jr has clinched his second Pro Stock Championship. If you ask the 32-year old second...
Focus, focus, focus.
With two-races remaining on the 2002 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule and a 108-point lead it might appear as though Jeg Coughlin Jr has clinched his second Pro Stock Championship. If you ask the 32-year old second generation driver or any member of Team Jeg's you will get a different answer.
"This points chase is not over until it's over! Our goal is to continue to focus on our program, eliminate mistakes and give it 110% to the end," explained Jeg.
Pro Stock has proved to be the class filled with surprises this year. There have been 12 different winners that together have a total of 62 DNQ's. Three of the winners did not qualify at the event after they won. Only one driver has qualified at all 21 races held so far this season and he is not contending for the championship.
The recent success in NHRA's most competitive professional class for the yellow and black has a lot of similarities to how Jeg Coughlin Jr began his 2000 NHRA season. He scored six wins in the first seven events and won a total of 10 events.
Coughlin wrapped up his first professional championship in the first round of the AutoZone NHRA Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park. Later that day he went on to win and share the podium with his brother Mike Coughlin. It was the first time Team Jeg's had won an event in Pro Stock and Pro Stock Truck on the same weekend.
The year 2002 tells a slightly different tale for the yellow and black. Jeg kicked off the season with a DNQ and barely broke into the quick-sixteen on his final attempt at the second race of the season (Phoenix).
"We joked around as team about where we were being pitted. If you are not in the top-ten your not guaranteed to be pitted on pavement. We wanted back on the pavement and the only way to do it was to get back in the top-ten," said Jeg with a smile.
The runner-up finish at the Mac Tools Gatornationals gave the team a real boost of energy. The in-house engine program had answered the call and silenced the critics. It took until the 12th race of the season for Jeg and his Jeg's Mail Order Chevy Cavalier to return to victory lane.
The youngest of the four Coughlin brothers has almost made a habit of holding the "Wally" at the end of the day lately. Jeg has won seven of the last 10 events and has a three race winning streak going into Las Vegas. He has scored two wins in his five attempts at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"All of the success we have had this year is solely because of teamwork. The engine, chassis, clutch and maintenance programs have all complemented each other. We have not spent much time testing going up and down the track wearing out our equipment and people. We have gone to every race with a plan of attack as a group. Our goal before the season started was to win the Championship and the opportunity that we have is only because of having a great team that works together through the good times and the not so good times," explained Coughlin.