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Jeg Coughlin Jr was burnt out after the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series ended. He'd already won four Pro Stock championships and the 22-race season was cutting into his business and family time. He needed a break from professional drag racing and decided to go back to the Lucas Oil Sportsman ranks for the year.
A year away was enough for Jeg and he's ready to return to action in 2012 at Pomona, but this time he's driving a Mopar Dodge Avenger, not the Chevrolet Cobalt with which he won his most recent Pro Stock titles. Coughlin has raced with Mopar before in the Sportsman ranks, driving a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda to the 2004 US Nationals Mopar HEMI Challenge event win and racing a Mopar Dodge pro Stock car in the 2005 NHRA season. He currently owns and occasionally competes in Sportsman events with a Mopar Challenger Drag Pak race car.
Coughlin announced his return during the 2011 SEMA show in Las Vegas, stating he's joining Team Mopar, with his own JNR Racing Engine Shop in Mooresville, NC supplying the HEMI Mopar engines to get Jeg down the quarter-mile. Jeg and his family announced their new engine shop venture with partners Nick Ferri and Roy Simmons earlier in the year, re-teaming a group that has combined to earn multiple Pro Stock titles since 2002. Simmons was most recently with Cagnazzi Racing, where Coughlin last raced Pro Stock.
Coughlin joins current Mopar standout Allen Johnson, driving a Mopar Dodge Avenger. "Allen Johnson and his father Roy have a long history with Mopar and have built a highly respected program with their J&J Racing team," Jeg Jr said. "Between our two teams, I think you're going to see a Mopar Dodge in the winner's circle at many NHRA events next year."
Coughlin expects "to have a car that can qualify on the pole and win on Sunday. I believe the Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge will be able to fire some shots off the bow immediately."
While the engine shop will be in North Carolina, Jeg Coughlin Jr's team has its headquarters at the Coughlin Brothers Racing shop in Delaware, Ohio. That lends itself to plenty of family support as Jeg Jr works closely with his brothers and fellow team owners John, Troy and Mike Coughlin. Jeg Coughlin Sr will act as a team adviser for both the engine shop and at-track operation.
The Coughlin machine features a Haas chassis, which will be finessed by Finland native Tomi Laine, a renowned European Pro Stock champion who has been a fixture on the NHRA Pro Stock tour the past few years, working with several different teams.
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© 2011 Anne Proffit