After a fun weekend at the JEGS U.S. Open Bracket Championship in Bowling Green, Ky., the JEGS team will return to the highly competitive arena of high stakes E.T. racing again at this weekend’s Ultimate 64 Shootout presented by JEGS at Edgewater Sports Park.
The team roster will once again include five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., his nephew T.J. Coughlin, and his fianc√©e Samantha Kenny. All three will be driving their distinctive yellow and black JEGS.com dragsters, while Jeg will also be racing his sinister black Chevy II wagon.
The highlight of the Ultimate 64 Shootout will be Saturday’s main event which pays $50,000 to the winner. There will also be three separate $10,000-to-win races and three “second chance” events to go along with a $12,000-to-win high roller event tonight.
Additionally, the busy schedule includes two more $5,000-to-win races on Sunday and another race where the champion will take home an American Race Cars dragster chassis. With so many races packed into a three-day event, drivers have the opportunity to quickly get into a rhythm and anyone who gets hot at the right time could easily walk away with a hefty sum of cash.
“The Ultimate 64 Shootout has been held for several years, but I have only had the opportunity to race in it once before,” Jeg said. “I really enjoyed it and now I’m grateful to have the opportunity to come back. Last week in Bowling Green, I made 43 runs in three days between my Chevy II and my dragster so I’m starting to get the feel for bracket racing again.
“I’m very happy with both cars, but I also know we’re going up against a tough, tough crowd. At these big bracket races, you have to be on your best behavior, in the pits, on the starting line, and at the finish line. You just can’t make any mistakes anywhere.”
Jeg, who recently became the first driver to win an NHRA national event title in six different classes, knows his way to the winner’s circle at Edgewater Sports Park. He won the Super Stock title at the track’s NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event in 1994.
As someone who is admittedly still learning each time he buckles himself into his JEGS.com dragster, T.J. welcomes any opportunity to gain additional experience. The third-generation driver also is looking forward to racing for one of the biggest single-day prizes in bracket racing.
“Who wouldn’t want the chance to race for $50,000?” T.J. said. “That’s a lot of money for anyone. I’m also going to try and win that American Race Cars dragster. I won another dragster at the K&N Spring Fling in Bristol last month and it would be cool to get a second one. Winning would be awesome, but I’m mostly looking forward to being able to race with uncle Jeg and Samantha.”
After making 15 runs at last weekend’s JEGS U.S. Open event in Bowling Green, Kenny is also looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of her JEGS.com dragster. Like Jeg, she will also be racing in most of the scheduled races, including the $50,000-to-win main event.
“I really like the fact that we have at least two races each day,” Samantha said. “If you happen to make a mistake and get beat early, you don’t have to wait around for long to get back in the car and make up for it. And, if you happen to get on a roll, it’s possible that you could be racing all day long and making maybe 15 or 20 runs in a single day. That’s good practice.”