NHRA Team News - With Momentum On Their Side, JEGS Team Heads For Norwalk
NORWALK, May 11, 2011: Just two weeks after claiming a victory at the Division 3 season-opener at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Mike Coughlin and the rest of the JEGS Mail Order team will look to keep their momentum intact as they head for the series' second stop this weekend in Norwalk, Ohio.
A two-time Division 3 champion in Top Sportsman, Coughlin drove his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt to the class title in Indy, taking a crucial step towards what could potentially be his third division title in the last five years.
Riding on Coughlin's recent success, Team JEGS's Norwalk contingent will be rounded out by third-generation racer Troy Coughlin Jr. and Samantha Kenny, who both turned in impressive performances of their own in the Indy opener.
"We had a great weekend at Indy and now we just need to keep it going," Mike Coughlin said. "My car was just about flawless so we didn’t do anything but change the oil. We’re ready to go. In fact, I think my car might actually be better in Norwalk because that is a great track and it seems to favor the faster cars. On top of that, we should have cool weather this weekend which means it should be very quick.
"I like racing in Norwalk, but I haven’t had the best results there so I’m hoping that I can change that this weekend. If I can put together another good race, I’ll really start liking my chances in the points standings."
For T.J. Coughlin, the Norwalk event represents a final chance to earn a spot on the team that is headed to the annual JEGS Allstars event this July in Joliet, Ill. T.J. is currently second in the JEGS Allstars standings, 12 points behind leader Leo Zynda. The two points leaders raced in the quarterfinals of the Indy event with Zynda taking the win.
"I could have done myself a favor by beating Leo at the last race but it didn’t quite work out that way," said T.J., the son of world champion Troy Coughlin and nephew to Mike. "That’s okay; I’m not focused on the past. I am focused on this weekend’s race and if I do what I’m supposed to do, I can still qualify for the JEGS Allstars. My dad and my three uncles have represented Division 3 in the JEGS Allstars and I’d consider it an honor if I could join them this year. I know it’s all up to me and I’m determined to give it my best shot."
For Kenny, who is engaged to Mike's brother Jeg, any trip to Norwalk is sure to evoke some pleasant memories as in 2009 she claimed her first NHRA national event title at the historic facility. Kenny's father, Alan, also won the Super Gas title at Norwalk in 2008.
Once again, Kenny will be pulling double duty as she will drive her father’s Corvette roadster in Super Gas in addition to her usual ride in her JEGS.com Super Comp dragster.
"This track has always been good to me and good to my whole family," Kenny said. "We look forward to coming here every year.
"At the last race at Indy, my dragster was great and I was able to win some rounds. Now, we just want to keep it going. I didn’t do so well in Super Gas so I hope to make up for that this weekend as well."
Following the Indy race, T.J. is ranked sixth in the North Central Division Super Comp standings while Kenny is ranked 11th. If she can once again advance to the late rounds, she will earn a top 10 ranking for the first time in her career.
"That’s definitely something that I’m shooting for," Kenny said. "It’s still early in the season and we have a lot of races left so hopefully I can just keep climbing up the ladder."