Coughlin claims Las Vegas Hemi Shootout title



            Jeg Coughlin earned his first win of the 2006 season when he captured the Mopar Hemi Shootout title at the third annual Mopars at The Strip event held at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In the final round, Coughlin drove Michael Ogburn's '68 Barracuda to the quickest run of the weekend with an 8.80-sec. run at more than 151 mph to take a victory over West Coast Hemis teammate Jerry Jenkins, who red-lighted at the start. Although the two-time NHRA Pro Stock champion hasn't driven a Super Stockcar since last September's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, he showed no signs of rust.

            "This was a great weekend for me and for the entire West Coast Hemis team," said Coughlin who had a nearly perfect .001 reaction time in the final round. "I really enjoy racing in Super Stock, and these Hemi cars are always a lot of fun to drive. Last December, Michael and I talked about the possibility of me racing his car at this event and I'm really glad we were able to make it happen.

            "I cut it a little close in the final with the .001 light, but otherwise my reaction times were right where I wanted them to be."

            The event featured a "Chicago-style" elimination format with all six entries racing in the first two rounds of eliminations and the two quickest winners advancing to the final round. Coughlin went undefeated on the day with preliminary round wins over Bob Mazzolini's Barracuda and Mark Vieira's Dodge Dart. Coughlin also had low elapsed time of the first two rounds with runs of 8.87 and 8.88.

            Coughlin is scheduled to drive for Ogburn's team in Hemi Shootout events that will be held at the upcoming NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, La., next month and the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in September.

            "We tried a few different things with this car this weekend and they all seemed to work very well," said Coughlin. "The car was very consistent, which helps make my job as a driver much easier. Before the final, our crew chief Harry Holton made sure that my car and Jerry's car were pretty equal, so I knew I had to do my job. 

            "It was also important for me to make some runs in this car before we went to the SPORTSnationals in Louisiana," Coughlin continued. "Hopefully we can go down there and put both of our cars in the final again."

            Coughlin has driven for the West Coast Hemi team on three occasions and has reached the final round each time. He was the winner of the Mopar Performance Hemi Challenge at Indianapolis in 2004 and was runner-up at the same event in 2005. In addition to his occasional stints behind the wheel of Ogburn's car, Coughlin also plans to race his Jeg's Mail Order dragster and his new Jeg's Mail Order Chevy Nova in E.T. bracket and Super Comp events this season.


Story provided by:

Scott 'Woody' Woodruff

Jeg's Director of Media & Motorsports

(800) 345.4545