Samantha Coughlin living the sportsman racer dream in Gainesville
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Super Comp racer Samantha Coughlin is a bona fide national event winner who has proven to be absolutely lethal on the racetrack in her JEGS.com dragster. But when the helmet comes off, Coughlin is quick to flash a pretty smile that usually disarms even the most hardened of opponents.
“I love to win; it’s why we race,” said Coughlin, the wife of five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. “But to me, the NHRA is more about family and friends and having fun. The relationships we’ve made out here last a lot longer than the thrill of winning a round.”
Coughlin should be plenty happy at this weekend’s 42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals as she’ll be joined in competition by her husband, brother-in-law Troy Coughlin and brother Jason Kenny, who will pilot Jeg Jr.’s Super Comp dragster.
“It looks like Team JEGS will have plenty of representation,” Samantha said. “Jason and I will be racing Super Comp, Troy is starting his season in Pro Mod and Jeg is racing in Pro Stock and Stock. There will be yellow and black everywhere!
“It’s going to be fun. I love the Gators because it’s the first East Coast race of the year and most of our friends race in Divisions 1, 2 and 3 so I’m sure they’ll all be there ready to go. It’ll be nice to catch up with everyone and see what happened over the winter.”
Samantha should also be competitive on the racetrack. Last weekend she entered a bracket race in Valdosta, Ga., to regain her racing legs and says the experience was a prefect prelude to her first NHRA race of the season.
“It was a great weekend to get refocused on racing,” Samantha said. “I wanted to make some passes, take the Tree a few times and get back in race mode. I’m so glad we went because I was reminded to trust my gut feelings and just race the way I know how to race. I’m ready for Gainesville and I’m excited to get started.”