Coughlin's racing career is veering away from individual
accolades and focusing instead on building a championship
Coughlin has won multiple drag racing championships
and numerous events as a driver, but has recently
taken a step back to nurture the circle track career
of his son Cody, who drives a JEGS.com-branded Late
Model Stock Car.
"Being a drag racer, I don't have a lot to offer
as far as advice with the Late Model car but what
I have enjoyed quite a bit since Cody started driving
is hiring the right people and putting them in a position
to succeed," John said. "We've really got
a good group together and it's refreshing to see them
do their thing and get positive results."
An added side benefit of John's decision to take
a step back from racing himself has been the extra
family time he gets traveling from racetrack to racetrack
with his wife, Diana, and children Cody and Kennedi.
"It was actually a lot of fun to ease back on
my racing schedule and spend so much quality time
with Di and the kids, Cody and Jelly (Kennedi),"
Coughlin said. "We've done so much together in
the last few years and had a lot of fun supporting
Cody on the weekends."
building has been a huge part of John's life and career.
As a sponsor, his JEGS Mail Order hot rods have racked
up victories in a variety of classes with top-notch
drivers like Anthony Bertozzi, Brad Plourd, "Fast
Jack" Beckman, and Hugh Meeks III. As a brother,
he's become the No. 1 supporter of the racing endeavors
of siblings Troy, Mike, and Jeg Jr.
John's impressive career started with weekends on
"Pop's" crew when his Hall-of-Fame father,
Jeg Sr., was barnstorming the central states in the
original fleet of JEGS racecars. That early exposure
to drag racing lit the fire for John, and by age 20
he had won his first event -- the IHRA 1994 Winternationals
in Darlington, S.C.
His success continued in the '90s, as John won NHRA
national event titles in Super Stock and Super Gas,
as well as a near miss of the ultra-competitive Super
Gas NHRA National Championship in 1992.
He also won back-to-back North Central Division championships
in the Super Gas category in 1994 and 1995, securing
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event victories at Indianapolis
Raceway Park, Quaker City Dragway, and Houston Raceway
Park along the way.
John and Mike then raced in the now-defunct Pro Stock
Truck category, and Johns JEGS.com Chevrolet racked
up 27 round wins, including a runner-up finish at
the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indy and
wins in St. Louis and Columbus over a three-year span.
After the Pro Stock Truck class was eliminated, the
gifted racer returned to his Sportsman roots and quickly
made his way back to the winner's circle, piloting
his Super Stock JEGS Chevy Cavalier to victory in
his first race back.
John and Mike went in together on an extra-special
Father's Day gift in 2003, celebrating respective
wins in Super Stock and Super Comp at National Trail
Raceway with their dad taking it all in from the starting
In 2007, John debuted a new B&B Race Cars Chevy
Cobalt Super Stocker and an Undercover Chassis rail
that he piloted to his first Top Dragster championship.
Also that year, he finished second in Division 3 in
Super Stock and highlighted his season with four Lucas
Oil Series wins.
In 2008, John picked up a Super Stock win in Indianapolis
and claimed runner-up honors in Norwalk in his Top
Dragster entry, finishing in the top 10 in both categories
while taking advantage of the opportunity to compete
in the invitation-only JEGS Allstars event in Chicago
in Super Stock and the JEGS Top Dragster Shootout
in his rail.
The 2009 season was another success story. John kicked
off the series with a brand new Mullis dragster powered
by Sonny Leonard engines, and on the way to earning
his second North Central Division Top Dragster championship,
he accrued numerous round-wins and two event titles.
In Chicago, John took home the trophy and took over
the points lead for the first time. He then waged
battle to the very end, doing what he had to do in
Las Vegas at the final Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
event of the season -- win the race outright -- to
nab the championship.
Last year, Coughlin competed in Top Dragster and
Competition Eliminator, with a best finish of second
in Competition Eliminator at the Norwalk North Central
Division event. In Top Dragster, Coughlin finished
third in the Division 3 points standings.
In 2012, he will once again focus on Cody but plans
to race Jeg Jr.'s Undercover dragster at select JEGS
Super Quick Series events.