Having claimed three Pro Stock trophies at Maple Grove Raceway, the site of this weekend’s 28th annual Uni-Select NHRA Nationals, five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. knows how good the historic facility located in Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country can be.
“Looking at the forecast, Maple Grove certainly won’t disappoint,” Coughlin said. “That place can be fast, very fast, and I think we’re going to see some awesome conditions this time through so I believe me and my fellow racers are going to have some fun. Of course, that means the fans are in for a treat as well.”
Coughlin drove to the winner’s circle of this event in 1999, 2008 and 2009, making it one of his favorite stops on tour. As a native of neighboring Ohio, it’s also a racetrack he frequented in his amateur days in the sportsman ranks.
“One thing I always enjoy about Reading is the people,” Coughlin said. “These are diehard race fans that are extremely knowledgeable about Pro Stock racing and what it takes to run these naturally-aspirated, 500 cubic inch motors. They’ve proven to me over the years that they love drag racing and will always support the effort.
“We won there early in my career and then had back-to-back wins in ’08-’09, so now we need a win from this decade. How’s that for logic?”
Part of the 10-racer Countdown to the Championship playoff field, Coughlin knows he’ll need more performance from his JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger if he wants to earn his fourth Reading crown.
“We know where we stand,” said the 10th-ranked Coughlin. “We need more horsepower, bottom line. We fought so hard to get into the Countdown but once we accomplished that goal we kind of stalled out. We need to do better. The good news is we have the parts and the people you need to right the ship and we’re all working very hard towards that goal.
“There are three races left this year and we’re going to fight as hard as we can until they tell us it’s over.”
Aside from his racing, Coughlin is beaming with pride since his son, Jeg III, qualified for the state golf tournament last weekend. “I’m skipping next weekend’s JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals to go cheer Jeggie on,” Coughlin said. “He’s done so well and to make state is really something. We’re all very proud of him.”
(Photos courtesy JEGS; Click to enlarge)