NORWALK, Ohio – As citizens of Ohio know all too well, it’s been a soggy spring this year across the Buckeye State.
However, if history can provide any sort of lesson, it’s that the NHRA’s annual pilgrimage to Northwest Ohio always seems to be the true start of the summer months.
That’s certainly the hope of five-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., who brings his JEGS.com Chevrolet Camaro home for what he hopes will be a memorable weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park.
The Norwalk event marks the 12th of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, the halfway point of the year and a home game for Ohio native Coughlin.
“I think we’re all anxious for summer to finally get here, and normally the conditions at the Norwalk race are more conducive to eating ice cream than anything else,” Coughlin said. “It’s been very rainy and cooler this spring though, even lately, which is unusual this far into June, so if the NHRA visiting our state can turn the tide, I’m all for it.”
With a legion of friends, family and JEGS associates expected to be on hand, Coughlin also is hoping a return to his home state results in a return to his early-season form, highlighted by his 61st career Pro Stock win at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in February.
“The Norwalk weekend would be a perfect place to see this yellow and black JEGS Camaro back on top,” he said. “The car’s been running pretty well all along, but of late, we really haven’t quite been on the pace we set in the first five races of the year. The team at Elite has been working very hard to fix the little performance issues bugging us and they definitely feel like we’re back on track.
“We’re looking to qualify well and contend once again for the No. 1 starting spot, and we’re very anxious to see some win lights come Sunday so we can put ourselves in position to win again.”
Based in the Columbus suburb of Delaware, Ohio, JEGS High Performance employs more than 400 associates, many of whom plan to make the trek to Norwalk to root on the JEGS-branded hot rods of Jeg Jr. and his nephew Troy Jr., who races the JEGS.com “Save on Garage Gear” Top Alcohol Dragster out of the McPhillips Racing camp.
“Whenever we race Norwalk or back home at National Trail Raceway, we always have a huge fan base rooting for us,” Jeg Jr. said. “That makes it so special for everyone that proudly supports our brand. It also makes it extra satisfying to perform well in front of them because these are people we see every day in the hallways at work.
“We’re proud to be from Ohio and represent our state all around the country, but nothing beats doing well at home.”