Coughlin boys sky-high for St. Louis Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin has a laundry list of reasons why he's excited about this weekend's ninth annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, just over the mighty Mississippi...
Coughlin boys sky-high for St. Louis
Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin has a laundry list of reasons why he's excited about this weekend's ninth annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, just over the mighty Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis.
First of all, Coughlin is a three-time winner of this short-lived event, having won Super Stock titles in 1997 and '03, as well as a Pro Stock crown in '02. Secondly, it's the sports only nighttime race. Third, all three of his brothers are competing this weekend, and fourth, and perhaps most importantly, his Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T is poised for a win after reaching the final of the Chicago event just 11 days ago.
"All the pieces are in place and we're darned excited about this race," Coughlin said. "Having won here before multiple times is certainly a mental boost at the very least. Racing at night is awesome mainly because you can see the Tree so much better and guys that are usually cutting .030-second lights are all of a sudden cutting .015 lights. That makes for some exciting racing and we hope to be right in the mix.
"Having Troy, Mike, and John at the race will be great. It's been awhile since we've all raced together and we tend to push each other to better performances because we're all pretty competitive. Family bragging rights go a long way at Christmas time."
Troy, the most recent winner on the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge having won the Englishtown event Sunday, will once again be driving his Jeg's Mail Order Ford Shelby Mustang. John will compete in both Super Stock and Super Comp, and Mike will race his Super Comp dragster.
"Probably the biggest thing that has me pumped up is that [crew chief and 10-time world champion] Bob Glidden called me just to say they found some things back at the engine shop and that we're really gonna have something for them this weekend," Coughlin said. "Bob's a low-key guy so when he takes the time to call you and tell you some news, it generally means he's onto something big. It should be fun."
It took Troy just seven races to find the winner's circle in his Pro Mod car. His impressive run through the Englishtown field helped him jump all the way up to sixth in the championship points. Last weekend's race marked the midway point in the 14-race Pro Mod season so Troy knows how important every round can be from here forward.
"I haven't had a racecar that's running consistently fast like this is years," Troy said. "I didn't know that we ever had an edge like we do know when we were racing in Pro Stock. If I do my part, we should continue to win rounds. I'd like to believe I have the best car in the class right now. You almost have to believe that.
"We're still looking at the championship. My teammate, Mike Ashley, is way out there in front with four wins already but I never stop thinking championship until it's mathematically over. I suppose a 1-2 finish in the points would be a great year, no matter whose No. 1 and whose No. 2 out of Mike and I.
"My crew chief Chuck Ford is very conservative. When it's hot and muggy and everyone's slippin' and slidin', that's when he shines the brightest. It's summer and my kids are coming, which is great for me. Our family has a great history here and I'd love to add the first Pro Mod win to the equation."