Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
Gainesville, Fla. (March 15-18)
The JEGS Mail Order team will be well represented at this weekend’s 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals with Jeg Coughlin Jr. racing in Pro Stock, Mike Coughlin competing in Top Dragster, and third-generation racer Troy Coughlin Jr. making his debut in Top Alcohol Dragster.
Jeg Jr. will continue his pursuit of a sixth NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock title (and seventh championship overall) at this weekend’s event. Jeg Jr. will once again be driving a Rick Jones Race Cars-built Chevy Camaro as a member of the Elite Motorsports team.
Last season, Jeg Jr. finished as the No. 7 ranked driver in Pro Stock. He finished in the top 10 for the 17th time in his career, which began in 1997.
Jeg Jr. is once again racing as a teammate to two-time world champ Erica Enders. The Elite team also includes Pro Stock racers Vincent Nobile and Alex Laughlin. Jeg Jr.’s crew chief is multi-talented Rickie Jones, who has extensive experience as a driver, chassis builder and tuner. The Elite team also includes crew chiefs Rick Jones, Mark Ingersoll and Brian “Lump” Self, who regularly share data.
After the first two events of the season in Pomona and Phoenix, Jeg Jr. enters this week’s event as the 10th-ranked driver in the Pro Stock class.
During previous visits to Gainesville, Jeg Jr. has won the Pro Stock title twice. He claimed his first win in 2001 by beating Mark Osborne in the final round and then stopped Jason Line to win his second title in 2008. Jeg Jr. also was a runner-up in Gainesville in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2013.
In 17 career appearances at Gainesville Raceway, Jeg Jr. has a round-win record of 29-13 in Pro Stock competition.
In his 17 Gainesville races, Jeg Jr. has qualified in the top half of the Pro Stock field 14 times, including a best of No. 1 at the 1998 event.
Jeg Jr.’s best elapsed time in a Pro Stock car is 6.484 seconds and his best speed is 214.62 mph, both recorded in Gainesville in 2014.
Jeg Jr. is a five-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock champion. He earned season titles in 2000, 2002, 2007-2008 and 2013. As a sportsman driver, Jeg Jr. also claimed the NHRA Super Gas championship in 1992.
Including Gainesville Raceway, Jeg Jr. has won at least one NHRA national event at 24 different facilities, making him the all-time leader in that category. The only current venues on the NHRA Mello Yello tour where he has not won are the tracks in Norwalk and Epping.
Last season, Jeg Jr. became just the 10th NHRA racer to win 600 elimination rounds when reached the semifinals in Topeka. He currently has 609 round wins. The other nine drivers with 600 wins are: John Force (1,288), Warren Johnson (874), Tony Schumacher (809), Greg Anderson (768), Kenny Bernstein (682), Larry Dixon (678), Ron Capps (681), Antron Brown (679) and Doug Kalitta (627).
Jeg Jr. is the only professional racer in history to win a national event title from all 16 starting spots. During his Indy win in 2000, Jeg qualified No. 16.
With 58 Pro Stock wins in his career, Jeg Jr. ranks fourth all-time among Pro Stock drivers. Only Warren Johnson (97), Greg Anderson (90) and the late Bob Glidden (85) and have more titles.
In 407 career Pro Stock races, Jeg Jr. has reached the final round 102 times, recording 58 wins. Including his 18 sportsman victories, Jeg Jr. has won a total of 76 times, good for ninth place on NHRA’s all-time list. During his career, Jeg Jr. has appeared in 126 final rounds, 102 as a professional and 24 as a sportsman racer.
During his Pro Stock career, Jeg Jr. has competed in 407 events and has a round-win record of 609-333. He has red-lighted just 22 times and failed to qualify just 16 times.
Mike Coughlin will continue his pursuit of the Top Dragster championship in Gainesville. Last season, Mike won his first start at the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona and went on to post a fourth-place finish in the national rankings in the highly competitive class.
Last weekend, Mike kicked off his season at the Baby Gators, the Southeast Division Lucas Oil Series event held in Gainesville. He qualified No. 2 with a 6.048-second elapsed time but lost on a breakout in Round 2.
Mike will be driving the same Dan Page-built Top Dragster that he raced last season. The car is equipped with a ProCharger and has run in the five-second zone at speeds of more than 230 mph, making it one of the fastest cars in the class. Mike’s crew consists of Greg Cody and Tony Collier.
Last season, in addition to his national event win in Pomona, Mike also earned a Lucas Oil Series victory in Indianapolis.
Last year, Mike returned to the Top Dragster class after a successful run in Top Sportsman that included a pair of Division 3 championships in 2007 and 2009.
Mike is a 14-time NHRA national event winner. He has won national event titles in Pro Stock Truck, Super Comp, Top Sportsman and Top Dragster.
After successful stints in Top Fuel, Pro Mod, Super Comp and Super Gas, Troy Jr. will enter the Top Alcohol Dragster class for the first time this weekend.
Troy Jr. will be driving a car owned and tuned by multi-time national event winner Rich McPhillips, a two-time (2013 and 2016) Gatornationals winner.
Family patriarch Jeg Coughlin Sr. enjoyed a tremendous amount of success in the Top Alcohol Dragster class (then known as Pro Comp) in the 1970s including six divisional event wins and the 1976 Division 3 Pro Comp championship. He was also a finalist at the 1975 U.S. Nationals
Troy Jr. is a five-time NHRA national event winner and the first third-generation Coughlin to win a major event. Troy Jr. won Super Comp titles at the 2009 Las Vegas race and the 2010 U.S. Nationals and the Gainesville event in 2013. He also won a pair of national events in 2014 at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals.
Troy Jr. was the 2013 NHRA North Central Division Super Gas champion.
During his career, Troy Jr. has appeared in nine Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional final rounds and has claimed three victories.
In addition to his success in NHRA events, Troy Jr. also is regarded as one of the sport’s best E.T. bracket racers. He has accumulated several major victories including a $25,000 payday at the Atco Dragway Superbucks event and a $10,000 win the Spring Buck Blast at South Georgia
Recently retired three-time Pro Mod champ Troy Coughlin will be on hand to receive his champion’s ring and jacket during Sunday’s prerace ceremonies. The Gainesville event is the kick off for the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod series.
The Coughlin family plans to participate in Sunday’s track walk, which will benefit the Darrell Gwynn foundation and its mission to find a cure for paralysis.
On Thursday, March 15, JEGS founder Jeg Coughlin Sr. will celebrate his 80th birthday.
The Coughlin family, including John, Troy, Mike, Jeg Jr. and Troy Jr., has combined for 116 NHRA national event victories since 1990. The Coughlin’s have won in nine different eliminators including Pro Stock, Pro Stock Truck, Pro Mod, Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Sportsman and Top Dragster.
TEAM JEGS – By the Numbers
Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals Edition
3 Wins for the JEGS team in Gainesville. Two by Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and one by Troy Coughlin Jr. (Super Gas)
7 Different classes where Jeg Coughlin Jr. has won at least one NHRA national event title (the only driver to do so)
10 Number of classes where the Coughlin family has earned an NHRA national event victory
101 Holeshot wins by Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the Pro Stock class (tops among NHRA pro drivers)
116 Combined NHRA national event victories for the Coughlin family
Credit: Geiger Global Media