do you feel about visiting some of the smaller tracks with
the Pro Mod car after getting used to running on only the
biggest, best-prepped strips in the country?
okay, because I think it will kind of re-teach me to be an
offensive driver — or a defensive driver in some cases.
Some of these tracks might be a bit narrower and not as smooth
as I was used to running, but they’ll help to make
me a better driver. And before I got into Pro Stock I did
a lot of Outlaw Pro Stock racing and Quick 8s back at home
with my Super Gas car, so I’ve been on a lot of these
kinds of strips before. Besides, these track guys work their
tails off to give us a good surface; these guys in Hattiesburg,
they’ve done a great job.
the Pro Mod fraternity welcomed you to the class?
they’ve been really good about it — better actually
than the Pro Stock guys were when I made the move up from
the Sportsman classes. I’ve become pretty decent friends
with guys like Troy Critchley and Tommy Mauney; I’ve
known Shannon Jenkins, Ed Hoover, Paul Trussell for a long
time and they’re all good people. I’ve been talking
with those guys a lot for about the last four years because
I’ve always been interested in the class, but we had
such a financial involvement in the Pro Stock stuff that
we never made the move. It’s a good group of guys to
race with, a good, happy family group I guess you could say.
long have you known your new teammate, Mike Ashley?
Coughlin: Oh geez,
I’ve known Mike eight or nine years I’d say,
pretty much through all his Pro Mod days.
is the ownership structured for the Pro Mod team?
all Mike’s stuff, all his trucks and trailers and cars
and parts and engines and team. I’m kind of sponsoring
the car and driving, but it’s all his artillery — and
there’s a lot of stuff here. He’s done a really
good job building this team, very professional.
you looking at this year as an experiment or is it a long-term
Coughlin: I look
at this as more of a long-term thing. I don’t know
if there’s a one-, or two-, or five-year contract of
any kind; it’s more of a ‘Hey-let’s-get-together-and-go-racing-and-make-money-and-have-fun-and-put-the-name-out-there’ kind
putting the Jeg’s brand on a Pro Mod car an attempt
to reach a different drag racing crowd?
Coughlin: I think
it doesn’t hurt, that’s for sure. But I think
that running the Ford Mustang is a bigger hit with our Ford
customers because I get e-mails all the time from people
who’ve bought from Jeg’s saying it’s great
we’re running a Ford. And I’d bet there’s
been 50 people come up to me saying it’s cool to see
me racing something other than a Chevy, and it’s neat
that my brother’s running a Dodge, so it’s definitely
a change and it’s very gratifying to receive that support.
Our P.R. guy, Scott Woodruff, told me the Ford people have
a picture of our Mustang hanging on their wall already, so
that’s pretty cool, too. That’s pretty big for