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With $125K on the Line, Jeg Coughlin Jr. Eyes Another Crowning Achievement at PRO Superstar Shootout

Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s journey in drag racing is a story of skill, dedication, and a deep-seated love for the sport. After returning to the ultra-competitive Pro Stock category for two races in 2023, Coughlin decided to get back behind the wheel for a full season in 2024, including the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage, Feb. 8-10, at Bradenton Motorsports Park. 

With six world championships to his name (five in Pro Stock and one in Super Gas), Coughlin is one of the most respected and talented drivers in drag racing. While he may have taken a short break from the professional scene in 2020, Coughlin estimates that he’s likely made over 1,000 passes down the racetrack competing in bracket races. As he rejoins Elite Motorsports, the largest professional team in drag racing, he’s hopeful that seat time will make a difference as he gets behind the wheel of his SCAG Power Equipment / Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer Camaro to compete in the PRO Superstar Shootout. 

“It’s been neat to see this event come to fruition over the past year,” said Coughlin. “Richard (Freeman, the owner of Elite Motorsports) and I have had a lot of conversations on the subject as the ideas were blooming and as things continued to gain traction. It’s going to be a spectacular event in a number of ways. It’s going to be the largest professional drag race in the sport. It’s in February in sunny Florida, which is fantastic. I’m extremely excited.”

Coughlin’s experience may very well prove to be an advantage as he’s competed and tested at Bradenton Motorsports Park on numerous occasions. With $125,000 on the line for the winner of the PRO Superstar Shootout, he’s eager to capitalize on any competitive edge he may have. 

“I’ve done a lot of bracket racing at Bradenton over the years and we’ve done some testing there, so I’m very familiar with the track,” explained Coughlin. “It’s had a major facelift and it turned out really nice. And since the PRO event was announced, there have been even more upgrades. So I’m really excited to get there and not only see the improvements but get a chance at that $125,000.”

Coughlin is quick to note, however, that he’s not taking anything for granted as he prepares to tackle the competition in what he expects to be a dogfight to the finish. 

“I think winning the first PRO Superstar Shootout would fit in nicely with my previous accomplishments,” said Coughlin. “But first we’ve got to get qualified. That’s going to be a feat itself. But assuming we get into the quick 16, then there are 15 others that are all capable of adding their name to that achievement as well. It’s going to be a dogfight. That’s the way it typically plays out and may the best team be left standing at the end. In our case, with Elite Motorsports, we’ve got a good seven or eight opportunities to win the event. That’s the cool thing about being part of such a mega-team.”

With 84 national event victories including 65 in Pro Stock, Coughlin’s resume is unparalleled. The skilled second-generation drag racer has landed in the winner’s circle with numerous vehicles across a myriad of categories. There’s no doubt that he knows what it takes to win, but no matter how hard a driver works to maintain consistency in every pass, Coughlin thinks that the money on the line, as well as the intriguing chip draw feature of the PRO Superstar Shootout, will create more drama and excitement. 

“Knowing that $125K is on the line, it’s definitely going to keep you on your toes without question,” said Coughlin. “We all say we want to be robotic and very systematic in racing every round the same. And while there is a lot of truth to that, when you add the magnitude of an inaugural event like this, with that kind of prize money, I think there’s a little more that gets into your mind and flowing in your blood. In my case, I’ve thought about it and I’m working to turn that into positive energy and win lights. 

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“Pro Stock is extremely competitive and always has been. When you look at the lineup going into this event, if we’ve got 20+ cars for the PRO Superstar Shootout, then I would say while it would be great to be qualified No. 1, if No. 1 draws No. 2, then that’s pretty exciting. We had a similar format when we ran the Drag Illustrated event a couple of years ago in Orlando and it made for some really interesting matchups and ones that you typically wouldn’t see early on in a Pro Stock event, so I think it’s fun. There will probably be some side bets. It adds a little more excitement.”

Coughlin is eager to compete in just a few weeks and he’s confident that the fans will love the PRO Superstar Shootout, wherever and however they can participate. 

“We’re excited to pack the place in Bradenton – come one, come all,” exclaimed Coughlin. “It’s going to be a really neat event for those that physically attend. It’s going to be the first of its kind at this magnitude with this group of Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock teams competing. And those who can’t join us in person, I recommend you subscribe to FloRacing and follow the action there. The fans will see a lot more behind-the-scenes action that we’ve wanted to bring to the fans for a number of years. Not to mention, glimpses of other things that will be of interest. The Flo coverage should be fantastic.”

The SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by JHG also features $250,000-to-win Top Fuel and Funny Car. Tickets are now on sale at https://bit.ly/scagpro. Fans can also watch the entire race live through FloRacing at https://flosports.link/3t04gHk

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.