Team JEGS Prerace Notes: Arizona Nationals
33rd annual NHRA Arizona Nationals
Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park
Chandler, Ariz. (February 24-26)
The JEGS Mail Order team will be out in force for this weekend’s 33rd annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, the second stop in the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello
Drag Racing Series.
Six-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. will lead the effort with a pair of entries in Pro Stock and Super Gas while nephew Troy Coughlin Jr. will make his second start in the Top Fuel class behind the wheel of the SealMaster Toyota dragster fielded by Kalitta Motorsports.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. is a two-time
Pro Stock winner at Phoenix.
Jeg Jr. will continue his pursuit of a sixth NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock title (and seventh overall) at this weekend’s event. Jeg Jr. will be driving a JEGS.com-branded Rick Jones Race Cars-built Chevy Camaro as a member of the Elite Motorsports team.
At the season-opener in Pomona two weeks ago, Jeg Jr. drove to a quarterfinal finish in his JEGS Mail Order Camaro. Jeg Jr. enters this week’s event as the No. 6 ranked driver in the Pro Stock class.
Last season, Jeg Jr. raced a Dodge Dart for the Elite team and recorded his 16th top-10 finish.
Jeg Jr. is once again racing as a teammate to two-time world champ Erica Enders. The Elite team also includes Pro Stock racer Vincent Nobile. Veteran crew chiefs Rick Jones, Mark Ingersoll and Brian “Lump” Self are the tuners of the three Elite Pro Stock cars and regularly share data.
During his career, Jeg Jr. has won the Pro Stock trophy twice in Phoenix. He claimed his first win in 2000 by beating Mark Pawuk in the final round and stopped Kurt Johnson to win his second title
As a sportsman driver, Jeg Jr. also won the Super Stock title in Phoenix in 1995. He returned in 1997 to claim the Comp title at the track’s Division 7 Lucas Oil Series event.
In 16 previous appearances at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park Jeg Jr. has a win-loss record of 20-14 in Pro Stock competition.
Jeg Jr.’s best elapsed time in a Pro Stock car is 6.484 seconds and his best speed is 214.62 mph, both recorded in Gainesville in 2014.
Jeg Jr. is one of just 18 professional racers to win 500 elimination rounds in NHRA competition, a landmark he reached at the 2013 Topeka race. The only other Pro Stock drivers with 500 wins are Warren Johnson, Bob Glidden, Greg Anderson and Jason Line.
Jeg Jr. is a five-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock champion. He earned season titles in 2000, 2002, 2007-2008 and 2013. As a sportsman driver, Jeg Jr. also claimed the NHRA Super Gas championship in 1992.
Including Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, Jeg Jr. has won at least one NHRA national event at 24 different facilities making him the all-time leader in that category. The only current venues on the NHRA Mello Yello tour where he has not won are the tracks in Norwalk, Ohio and Epping, N.H.
Jeg Jr. will also drive the Jegs.com Chevy Corvette Super Gas entry this weekend.
Jeg Jr. is the only driver to win national event titles in seven different categories. He has won in Pro Stock, Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas and Top Dragster.
Jeg Jr. also will be driving the team’s JEGS.com Chevy Corvette Super Gas entry. All told, Jeg Jr. has five national event wins in the Super Gas class including his first victory in 1990. His most recent national event win also came in the Super Gas class, at the JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals in 2015. At that event, he also won the Stock title.
Jeg Jr. is the only professional racer in history to win a national event title from all 16 starting spots. During his Indy win in 2000, Jeg qualified No. 16.
With 58 Pro Stock wins in his career, Jeg Jr. ranks fourth all-time among Pro Stock drivers. Only Warren Johnson (97), Greg Anderson (86) and Bob Glidden (85) and have more trophies.
With 587 round wins, Jeg Jr. is on the verge of catching 10-time champion Bob Glidden, who registered 597 round wins during his career.
In 382 career Pro Stock races, Jeg Jr. has reached the final round 100 times, recording 58 wins. Including his 18 sportsman victories, Jeg Jr. has won a total of 76 times, good for ninth place on NHRA’s all-time wins list. During his career, Jeg Jr. has appeared in 124 final rounds, 100 as a professional and 24 as a sportsman racer.
During his Pro Stock career, Jeg Jr. has competed in 382 events and recorded 587 round wins while incurring just 308 losses. He has red-lighted just 22 times and failed to qualify just 16 times.
Troy Coughlin Jr. is ready to make
his second start in Top Fuel.
Troy Jr. recently joined his grandfather, Hall of Famer Jeg Coughlin Sr., when he made his Top Fuel debut in Pomona. Jeg Sr. raced in the Top Fuel class from 1977-79. He finished No. 7 in the 1978 standings and recorded career bests of 5.97 seconds and 249.30 mph during his career.
In his debut in Pomona, Troy Jr. qualified in the No. 6 spot with a 3.730-second run. In eliminations, Troy Jr. recorded a 3.728 at 328.46 mph in his Round 1 win over Shawn Reed. Troy Jr. lost to reigning champion Antron Brown in the quarterfinals despite a career-best pass of 3.727 seconds.
Troy Jr.’s Top Fuel car is owned by drag racing and aviation legend Connie Kalitta and is tuned by veteran crew chief Rob Flynn. He will race as a teammate to 42-time national event winner Doug Kalitta. Troy Jr.’s teammates also include Funny Car drivers J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria.
Troy Jr. is driving the same SealMaster dragster that Todd drove to six final rounds last season including a victory in Sonoma.
Troy Jr. is expected to be one of the leading contenders for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award that honors NHRA’s top professional rookie. Troy Jr.’s uncle, Jeg Jr. was named NHRA rookie of the year in 1998 after a second-place finish in the Pro Stock class.
Troy Jr. is a five-time NHRA national event winner and the first third-generation Coughlin to win a major drag racing event. Troy Jr. won Super Comp titles at the 2009 Las Vegas race and the 2010 U.S. Nationals. He won a pair of national events last season, the U.S. Nationals and the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals.
Troy Jr.’s SealMaster dragster owned
by drag racing legend Connie Kalitta
Troy Jr. also is the 2013 NHRA North Central Division Super Gas champion.
During his career, Troy Jr. has appeared in nine Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional final rounds and has claimed three victories at that level.
In addition to his success in NHRA events, Troy Jr. also is regarded as one of the sport’s best E.T. bracket racers. He has accumulated several major victories including a $25,000 payday at the Atco Dragway Superbucks event and a $10,000 win the Spring Buck Blast at South Georgia Motorsports Park.
The Coughlin family, including John, Troy, Mike, Jeg Jr. and Troy Jr. has combined for 113 NHRA national event victories since 1990. The Coughlin’s have won in nine different eliminators including Pro Stock, Pro Stock Truck, Pro Mod, Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Sportsman and Top Dragster.