KENT, Wash. (July 31) -- Jeg Coughlin Jr. already enjoyed one winning streak in early June when he won consecutive national events in Chicago, Richmond and Bristol. Now he's hoping to close out summer with another winning streak as he arrives at the 31st annual CatSpot Organic Cat Litter NHRA Northwest Nationals fresh off a big victory in Sonoma. And with two chances to score in Seattle, his expectations are high.
Coughlin will be racing in two different classes at Pacific Raceway, piloting his JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro in Pro Stock and his JEGS.com Dodge Challenger Drag Pak entry in Stock eliminator. Coughlin's win in Richmond came in Super Comp.
"We're feeling great," Coughlin said. "The Pro Stock car ran extremely well in Sonoma with a brand-new Elite Performance engine under the hood and the Stock car has been extremely consistent ever since we put it on the track a few years ago. We feel very good about our chances in both categories.
"What's exciting about this updated motor is that, even though we figured it out pretty quickly in Sonoma and got the win there, it's showing us there is plenty of room to get even more efficient and quicker so we'll continue to work on this tune-up."
Seattle should be a good place for the team. Competing in Pro Stock, Coughlin won the 2002 event at Pacific Raceways and was runner-up there in 2000, 2013 and 2015.
"Typically, we get the same sort of air conditions only with a different track surface in Seattle," Coughlin said. "Obviously, the engine was happy in Sonoma so we'll dig through the data we've gathered since Pacific Raceways was resurfaced and come up with a game plan that will give us an advantage again this weekend.
"This is always a fun race. You get all the fans from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and such, plus a bunch of Canadians making the trek from Vancouver and the rest of Western Canada and they are super pumped to see us perform. We'll certainly do our best to put on another good show for them."
Heading into the three-race Western Swing of consecutive events in Denver, Sonoma and Seattle, Coughlin had a goal of working his way into the top five of the Mello Yello championship points. His win in Sonoma accomplished that objective a race early so he's looking even further up the rankings now.
"We're pleased to be in the top five for sure," he said. "And we're closing in on fourth-place. But we also could have a poor outing and drop back a few spots so we need to stay vigilant and continue to work hard. There's only three races left before the playoffs and we want to move up as high as we can before they reset the points."
While Jeg Jr. plies his craft on the West Coast, nephew Troy Coughlin Jr. will be racing his JEGS.com McPhillips Racing Top Alcohol Dragster clear across the country at Atco Dragway in New Jersey. Troy Jr. already has one win and two runner-up finishes in his first year running Top Alcohol.
"Rich (McPhillips) has a brand-new engine for us so we're excited about our chances this weekend," Troy Jr. said. "Atco's one of those tracks you grow up hearing about and to race there is a real honor. I love my team and I love this sport.
"My new bride Brenna is coming with me so I've got some good karma going. This is actually a really good race for the team because their shop is only about 90 minutes away from here. We'll have lots of support."