JEGS CRA All Star Series - Rookie Leader Coughlin Excited About Challenges Of Rockford Speedway
LOVES PARK, July 28, 2011: Cody Coughlin and the JEGS Chevrolet team tackle another new racetrack this weekend when Coughlin competes in the JEGS CRA All-Stars Tour Stanley Steemer 100 at Rockford Speedway.
The 15-year-old Coughlin has adapted well to the heavy, full-bodied stock cars this season, as he's leading the Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year standings and is eighth in the overall points standings. And Coughlin has done that while seeing most of the tracks on the JEGS All-Star Tour for the first time.
That will be no different this weekend at Rockford, a high-banked, quarter-mile track that is one of the most challenging short tracks in the country.
"I want to go there and get a top-10," Coughlin said. "It's another track like Anderson than can give drivers fits. It's a little bit different than Anderson, so we'll go in there with a positive attitude, and hopefully we’ll be all right.
"I'd like to have a top-five there, and I know we have the car and the team to do it, but that can be a wild-card race. I'd like to get away in one piece, with a top-10 if possible."
Crew chief Rich Lushes has competed at Rockford with several drivers, so he knows how to set up a car for the fast track.
"We're looking to run 100 laps and finish in one piece," Lushes said. "It's a quarter-mile, high-banked race track. It's really fast, really fun race track. But it's also a place where a lot of stuff can get torn up."
As always, Coughlin will have the support of his family – father John, mother Di and sister Kennedy – at the racetrack.
"I'm always thankful to have my family along with me at these races," Cody Coughlin said. "It's really important to have their support, from my mom and dad to my sister Jelly. I couldn't do it without them – they're my biggest fans, for sure."
Coughlin and the JEGS team will test at Rockford to get the young driver accustomed to the track, where he'll be competing against numerous veterans who have turned many laps around the quarter-mile oval. That's been the case at most tracks this season as Coughlin gains experience in stock cars.
"It's challenging," Coughlin said of racing new tracks. "It can take a couple practice sessions to get used to a track. I'd rather show up and be fastest before I had any laps on the track, but as a young kid racing these big stock cars, there's a learning curve to these tracks. I think we're holding our own out there, and I'll keep a positive attitude going to these new tracks."
Lushes will make adjustments to the JEGS Chevrolet, as needed, to help Coughlin get more comfortable in the car. While they both would like to be challenging for race victories, they also are keeping the big picture in mind. It's important for Coughlin to turn as many laps as possible in his rookie season on the JEGS All-Star Tour to prepare him for a future in stock car racing.
"Our goal all year long is to complete every lap and finish in the top 10," Lushes said. "We're going to go to Rockford with the same goal in mind. And then at the end of the year, the points will fall will they are. Hopefully, we'll be in the top 10, if not better, and win the Rookie of the Year."