PAC: Coughlin team final summary

Coughlin takes Las Vegas win; Top Dragster championship LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Nov. 7) -- In what could easily be the best performance of his career, John Coughlin won the Top Dragster title at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at The Strip...

Coughlin takes Las Vegas win; Top Dragster championship

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Nov. 7) -- In what could easily be the best performance of his career, John Coughlin won the Top Dragster title at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, scoring enough points in the process to clinch the Spitzer Race Cars Top Dragster season title for the second time in the last three years. Coughlin entered the Las Vegas event trailing leader Bob Cireddu in the standings and nothing less than a victory would allow him to make up the difference. Despite the pressure of a "must win" event, Coughlin never wavered as he drove his JEGS.com dragster through six tough elimination rounds culminating in a final round victory against Dave Morgan of Concord, Calif.

"I'm still a little shocked at what just happened," said Coughlin. "I had to win this race and did it. This race was six rounds instead of the five that we usually run so that made it more difficult but the whole time I kept thinking about my brother Mike. He was in a similar situation in Top Sportsman and he won his last race and that showed me that is was possible. It's still incredible to think that we were able to win a championship this way. My wife, Dianna and both of our kids, Cody and Kennediwere here and that helped make it even more special."

In the critical final round, Coughlin got a slight lead at the start but was able to cruise down the quarter-mile for the victory after Morgan's car slowed. Running off a dial-in time of 6.85 seconds, Coughlin ran a 6.97 for the win.

"I thoughtwe had it [the championship] just about wrapped up a few weeks ago but Bob [Cireddu] went out and passed me. The only chancewe had to get the lead back was to come out here and win but I didn't have a lot of confidence in my car. These TopDragster carsare so fast that it's really critical to have everything just right. Thankfully I had a lot of help and we managed to get it working again. My brother, Jeg, took the car to Tucson and made some runs and, my dad {Jeg Sr.] along with our crew, Greg Cody, Tony Collier and Rick Rossiter all worked to make it right. We also had a lot of help from [fellow racer] Tommy Phillips. They got it right because the car was perfect all weekend long."

Coughlin's nephew, T.J., was also in action with his Super Comp dragster and advanced to round three before losing to Val Torres Jr. T.J., had a competitive reaction time but lost when he ran under the 9.05 index by two-thousandths of a second. A week ago, T.J. became the first third-generation Coughlin to win a national event title when he claimed a victory at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals.

"It wasn't exactly the way I wanted to end the year but I've had a couple of great weeks," said T.J. "I felt like I was driving as well as I did last weekend but I just didn't get the breaks. It was great to see my uncle, John win in Top Dragster, though. Our whole team has had a great season."

-credit: team jegs

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA