Special Motorsports Event - After Fighting For Lead Wreck Ruins Coughlin's Night
NEW SMYRNA BEACH Feb. 19, 2012: JEGS.com Chevrolet driver Cody Coughlin battled for the lead for most of the opening Pro Late Model race of the 46th World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway on Saturday night.
But after contact with another driver, Coughlin spun and suffered damage to his JEGS.com Chevrolet, ending his night 10 laps too soon. Instead of a victory, Coughlin was left with a 23rd-place finish.
"We were having a strong run with the JEGS.com Chevrolet," the 16-year-old Coughlin said. "I was going for the lead in Turn 3 with 10 to go and was in very good position when me and the 5 car (of Daniel Keene Jr.) tangled in the center of 3 and 4 and we both spun.
"It's disappointing that it happened that way. We all worked really hard to put ourselves in position for a win and the lead was so close."
Coughlin started from the pole in the 25-lap race at the half-mile track after qualifying second – and the top two positions being inverted – on Friday. Rains swept through the area and postponed Friday's race one day.
Coughlin slipped to fourth early in the race, but got one spot back on a restart, and charged to second just before the halfway point. Coughlin then moved in on leader Keene, but the two got together in Turn 3, causing both to spin.
The JEGS car was damaged and began to overheat, and after trying to continue from the rear of the field, the team soon decided to park the No. 1 Chevy for the night.
"I am very happy with Cody and the team's progress," crew chief Butch VanDoorn said. "To be able to contend for the lead on our first night at New Smyrna is a huge step. It is definitely not the outcome we were looking for, but Cody and the team are really coming together and we will continue to build.”
Coughlin and the JEGS.com team are slated to return to action Sunday for another Pro Late Model race as the World Series continues through next weekend.