Reading: Jeg Coughlin pre-race notes

Coughlin's unfinished business At 34 years old, Jeg Coughlin's list of drag racing accomplishments already dwarfs most drivers on the POWERade Drag Racing Series. He has amassed three world championships and an amazing 45 national event...

Coughlin's unfinished business

At 34 years old, Jeg Coughlin's list of drag racing accomplishments already dwarfs most drivers on the POWERade Drag Racing Series. He has amassed three world championships and an amazing 45 national event wins in his short time behind the wheel of his stable of Jeg's Mail Order-branded hot rods.

The fact he's found so much success this early in his career speaks volumes about the man. Certainly, Coughlin has the stuff that champions are made of. At times, that includes finding ways to motivate himself, although Coughlin is the first to admit he'd drag race every weekend if he could.

As the 2004 schedule brings the NHRA back to Reading, Pa., for the rescheduled 20th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Coughlin draws on a primal desire to better himself and prepare his team for a strong charge at next year's title. But before he worries about 2005 and the promise a new season holds, there is some business he needs to finish.

"Ever since I turned professional in 1997, we've been fortunate enough to win a national event each year," Coughlin said. "We haven't won yet this year and we're down to three races so certainly it's something that's on our minds."

Coughlin has won this year. He claimed the trophy at the Mopar Super Stock Hemi Challenge at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, thereby prolonging a streak that dates back to 1990 of winning at least one drag race per season. But as prestigious as that title is and as encouraging as it is to maintain his impressive run of wins, he still wants to close out his '04 campaign with a national event win in Pro Stock.

"You find different goals to shoot for," Coughlin said. "Obviously, you want to win every race you enter. That's always the goal. But these other things come along and get you up for the game. This is the next hurdle we'd like to clear and its right in front of us."

There seems to be little doubt that Coughlin's Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier is capable of carrying the 2000 and 2002 Pro Stock champion to the winner's circle. Coughlin already has raced to one final-round showing in Gainesville, Fla., and more recently, had the top qualifying car two week's ago in Dallas. He's also logged top speed of the meet at the last two races.

"The car's been strong enough to go rounds," Coughlin said. "We feel like we're fully capable of winning any of these last three events. We will give it everything we have."

-www.teamjegs.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin