GM Racers Coughlin, Anderson Take Different Paths to Milestone Wins Two of Only 11 Racers in NHRA History with 50 Career National-Event Victories READING, Penn., August 14, 2007 - NHRA Pro Stock drivers Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Greg Anderson are...
GM Racers Coughlin, Anderson Take Different Paths to Milestone Wins
Two of Only 11 Racers in NHRA History with 50 Career National-Event Victories
READING, Penn., August 14, 2007 - NHRA Pro Stock drivers Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Greg Anderson are both coming off milestone victories in the series' two most-recent races as they prepare for this weekend's 23rd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. Just one race after Anderson drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO to his 50th career Pro Stock win at Sonoma (Calif.) on July 29 Coughlin drove his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt to his 50th career NHRA national-event win at Brainerd (Minn.) on Aug. 12. Fittingly, Coughlin defeated Anderson in the final round at Brainerd, his 37th NHRA Pro Stock win to go with his 13 Sportsman victories in four different classes. Only 11 racers have now reached the prestigious 50-win plateau in NHRA history including legendary names like John Force, Warren Johnson, Bob Glidden, Kenny Bernstein and Joe Amato, among others.
"As a result of their hard work and dedication, Greg Anderson and Jeg Coughlin Jr. have reached a milestone that only a few drivers in the history of NHRA have achieved, and we congratulate them both on this tremendous accomplishment," said Fred Simmonds, GM's drag racing marketing manager. "NHRA championship drag racing has been around for 56 years, and has nearly 80,000 members, so when two GM drivers become only the 10th and 11th drivers in NHRA history to get 50 career wins, it speaks volumes about their abilities and winning attitudes. Everyone at Chevrolet and Pontiac are very proud of what these two drivers and their teams have accomplished, and we wish them continued success as they prepare for the Countdown to the Championship."
The 37-year-old Coughlin spent most of the 2006 season away from Pro Stock competition before joining Victor Cagnazzi Racing and returning for the season's last three races. The 2000 and 2002 NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champion now has 37 Pro Stock wins and 13 Sportsman victories, winning seven times in Super Stock, four times in Super Gas, and one time each in Competition Eliminator and Top Dragster.
"This was big," Coughlin said after his Brainerd win. "To get our 50th win against the competition we run these days is special. Today's a great example of how tough it is; I had Allen Johnson (in Round 1), who's fourth in the points, Jason Line (in Round 2) who's fifth, the big cowboy, six-time champion Warren Johnson (in the semifinals), and then the best driver in the class over the last four years in Greg Anderson.
"Getting to 50 wins was one of my goals when I returned to Pro Stock. It's special to think that only 10 other people have achieved that mark in 50-plus years of drag racing. Fortunately, I've had a great hot rod with [team owner] Victor Cagnazzi and his entire team of technicians and mechanics and they've given me a car capable of winning races."
Anderson's racing resume might not be as diverse as Coughlin's but it is equally as impressive. The three-time NHRA POWERade champ (2003, 2004, 2005) recorded his landmark 50th Pro Stock victory over teammate Jason Line in only his 189th start, the second quickest in history to the 50-win mark. Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden took just 139 races to record 50 wins. The 46-year-old Anderson was named the SPEED Driver of the Year in 2004, joining John Force (1996) as the only professional drag racers to be accorded what is widely recognized as the most prestigious individual honor in American motorsports.
"Things were going so well when we got to 49 (wins) that it made this one seem awfully hard," said Anderson after his historic win at Sonoma. "I knew that was going to happen - that we would hit the brakes, so to speak. This class is so great and it's so hard to win these days that you have to appreciate every one. It feels great to get 50 and I'm pretty proud of that.
"This was a nice way to end this (six-race) stretch, without a doubt. Hopefully this is a sign on what we can do for the rest of the year. We're back on our game. Now we need to show that we can win a championship no matter what."
The Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals represents the final race of the regular season for teams to clinch a berth in the elite eight for the next segment of the Countdown to the Championship. Not surprisingly, Anderson and Coughlin are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the Pro Stock points standings as they take to the Maple Grove Raceway quarter-mile this weekend for Race No. 17 on the 23-race NHRA POWERade Series schedule.
"The important thing right now is for us to stay second in points," Coughlin said. "I know we can't catch Greg for the No. 1 spot, but if we stay second we'll go into Indy just half a round behind him in the Countdown to the Championship points, which will be the closest anyone has been to him all year."
-credit: gm racing