Jeg Coughlin Jr. won’t have to rely on slipping into a bobsled to satiate his need for speed this weekend.
Coughlin competed in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge a few weeks ago in Lake Placid, N.Y., and helped an NHRA team beat a group from NASCAR in a fundraiser.
Today, the two-time reigning NHRA Pro Stock champion will race a vehicle to which he’s more accustomed — and no snow will be in sight.
Coughlin will begin qualifying today for the fourth annual Pro Stock Showdown at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he will compete against former champion Jim Yates, Mike Edwards, Tom Hammonds, Erica Enders and others.
Three qualifying sessions will set the field for the eight-car eliminations bracket on Saturday, with the first round scheduled for noon. The teams are expected to continue testing Sunday until 2 p.m.
Top Fuel and Nitro Funny Cars also are expected to test this weekend, and an NHRA National Open for Sportsman, bracket and motorcycle categories will take place.
Coughlin, a 38-year-old native of central Ohio, won the Showdown title a year ago driving a Chevrolet for Victor Cagnazzi Racing. The four-time Pro Stock series champion has claimed four of his 41 national event titles at Las Vegas, including one last fall.
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season opens Feb. 5 in Pomona, Calif., so the testing will be as important to him as defending the Showdown title.
“Like any other test session, there are lots of things the guys want to try,” Coughlin said. “We also have a new (Chevrolet) Cobalt that we plan on putting into service very soon, so we might give it a whirl as well.”
• LOCAL RACING — Winners at the dragstrip last weekend were: Jason Dawson (Bracket 1), Andy Pressimone (Open Comp), Tom Debartolo (Super Pro) and Jeff Farrar (Pro).