CHICAGO — Mike Coughlin will be looking to extend his lead in Top Sportsman’s North Central Division points standings when he brings his powerful 200-mph JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt to this weekend’s Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Route 66 Raceway.
“We got off to a great start this year with the win in Indy, now the challenge is to see if we can pick up where we left off and then maintain that pace for the rest of the season,” said Coughlin, who already has two Top Sportsman D3 championships to his credit. “I like the fact that we are heading to Joliet for this race because it is one of my favorite tracks. It is an extremely nice facility and I’ve had some success there in the past. It’s a track that is very friendly to fast cars.”
Coughlin won the Super Comp class at Route 66 Raceway in 2005 and returned in 2007 to claim the Top Sportsman title.
Since his last race, Coughlin and his JEGS Mail Order crew, including Greg Cody and Tony Collier, have done little more than routine maintenance to the team’s Jerry Bickel-built Cobalt. Coughlin believes the car is as good as it can be heading into the race.
“The last time out, we had the car running just the way we like it so there really wasn’t much need to go testing or make any major changes,” he said. “The good thing about racing in Chicago is that we’re going to be on a fast track and I think we can qualify in one of the top four or five spots. In fact, if the weather cooperates, we might make some of our best runs of the whole year this weekend. This place can hold just about anything you throw at it which makes everyone’s job easier.
“This season is still a long way from being over, but if we can get through this race in Chicago and the rain-delayed race from Norwalk (scheduled for July 3) and still have the lead, I’m going to start liking our chances.”
Top Sportsman competitors will get three qualifying runs in Joliet and they are scheduled for Friday at 2:30 p.m. with two more runs a 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Final eliminations will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday.