BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. put together a dominant performance by banking two wins during this weekend’s Tenn-Tuck bracket race at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky. Driving his JEGS.com dragster, Coughlin claimed a win in Friday’s $5,000 event and then carried that momentum into Saturday, where he claimed a $10,000 paycheck during the Big Bucks event.
The dual victories were the latest in a long string of high stakes E.T. bracket titles for Coughlin, who earlier this year collected three wins in one weekend at the Ultimate 64 Shootout at Edgewater Sports Park. He also won a dragster in the America Race Cars Shootout at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, La., last month.
“We had a couple of good days,” said Coughlin. “I drove consistently and aggressively and we also had a few breaks along the way, which is what it takes at these events because these big bracket races are so tough. I decided to come to this race at the last minute because we were switching my dragster from gas to alcohol. I worked on the set-up with (noted racer and fuel systems expert) George Rupert and we quickly found the right tune-up.”
On Friday, Coughlin advanced to the eighth and final round where his opponent was highly successful professional racer Luke Bogacki. Needing nothing less than a perfect run in order to win, Coughlin delivered with a .008 reaction time and a run that was dead-on his dial in.
In Saturday’s final, Coughlin also turned in an outstanding performance, stopping final-round opponent Randy Shear, who was driving Chris Bear’s dragster. All told, Coughlin made 36 runs during the weekend in his dragster and his JEGS.com Chevy II, and recorded 16-straight elimination round wins to seal his two victories.
“We’ve got the Million Dollar race coming up in a couple of weeks and this really helps my confidence,” said Coughlin. “I’m especially pleased with the way my dragster responded to the new alcohol set-up. Lately, my Chevy II has been the go-to car, but the dragster was outstanding this weekend. Now, I’ve got two really good cars that I can bring to Montgomery. I owe a lot of credit to Randy Bishop, Tony Collier, and the rest of the crew in our shop. They’ve done a great job.”
Historically, Coughlin has been successful just about everywhere he has raced, but he has a particular fondness for Beech Bend Raceway Park. During his childhood, Coughlin and his brothers used to watch their father, Jeg Sr., race his Top Alcohol Dragster at the historic facility. As a driver, Jeg has won the Beech Bend Division 3 Lucas Oil Series event three times, carding back-to-back Super Gas titles in 1992-93 to go along with the Super Stock crown in 1996.