The Natural by ProQuest


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									                                           The Natural
 After getting off to an atypical start in Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin
       Jr. looks to win rounds and finish the season on top
H    e is far too humble to say it himself, but most of his
     contemporaries are willing to acknowledge, at least off the
record, that Jeg Coughlin Jr. is possibly the most naturally gifted
driver ever to strap himself into the seat of a Pro Stock car. The
winner of five national championships and 64 NHRA national
events, including 50 in NHRA’s premiere doorslammer division,
Coughlin wins because he rarely makes mistakes. He is almost
never late and red-lights even less frequently, making him a very
difficult driver to beat.
    Thus far in 2010, Coughlin has had what for him would be an
atypical season in Pro Stock. On one hand, he has won two
events, but he has lost in the first round four times. Despite the
inconsistency, he is currently ranked third in the NHRA Full
Throttle Drag Racing Series standings.
    While Pro Stock remains his bread and butter, Coughlin has
never forgotten his Sportsman racing roots, which he
demonstrated in Madison when he drove his brother John’s
dragster to the Top Dragster title. Coughlin has also been racing
his new Dodge Challenger Drag Pak entry at select events in
2010, and if he were to win a national event in Stock, he would
be the first driver to record wins in six different eliminators.
    National DRAGSTER Senior Editor Kevin McKenna recently
caught up with Coughlin and asked him about his place in Pro
Stock history, his prospects for another championship, and his
new Dodge Challenger Stock eliminator entry.

                                                                                            Q: For the last couple of years,
                                                                                            everyone is Pro Stock has been trying
                                                                                            to catch Mike Edwards. How
                                                                                            frustrating is that to do?
                                                                                            A: I applaud Mike for his effort and all he
                                                                                            has done, but it does seem like a couple
                                                                                            of us are starting to cut into his
                                                                                            advantage. Of course, I still feel like
                                                                                            Mike has a little more left. He is a savvy
                                                                                            racer, and I know he won’t give up the
                                                                                            No. 1 spot without a fight. I wouldn’t say
                                                                                            that it’s frustrating trying to catch him,
                                                                                            but it certainly isn’t the easiest thing in
                                                                                            the world to do.
Q: How would you rate your 2010            you able to identify and fix them?
season so far?                             A: My dad [Jeg Sr.], Roy Simmons, Todd           Q: You are currently more than 300
A: I think it’s going really well as a     Bevis, and [team owner] Victor Cagnazzi          points out of the top spot, but with the
whole. We picked up a couple of wins       all put their heads together and made            Countdown to the Championship, do
including one in Top Dragster. Our         some key changes to the car, and,                you still feel like there is hope for the Pro Stock Cobalt has been         obviously, it’s starting to pay off. To answer   2010 Pro Stock title?
a bit erratic at times, but it is a very   your question, it was not really one thing       A: I sure do, but I also know that by the
fast car. We had a few bumps in the        but a lot of small things together. Our          time the playoffs start at Indy, you had
road, but overall I have to think there    problems really began in late 2009 and           better have your act together. That’s a lot
are a lot more good things to come. I      continued on to the first part of this           of what we are doing right now, working
guess if I had to rate this year so far,   season. About four races ago, things             hard to make sure that we have
I’d give it two thumbs up.                 started to turn around, and you might            everything in order once the Countdown
                                           have noticed that our speed has picked up        [to 1] starts. I felt confident going into
Q: You mentioned the consistency           and our results have shown that. I really        the Countdown last year, but we just ran
issues your team has had. How were         hope all the bad stuff is behind us.             into a bunch of bad luck. There is no
                                                                                                         “The fact that I
                                                                                                         have been able to
                                                                                                         win so many races
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