Normally when a 17-year-old daughter asks her dad if she can take one of the family cars for a spin, she isn't referring to a Super Comp dragster that's capable of covering a quarter-mile drag strip from a standing start in 8.9 seconds at speeds in excess of 175 mph. But that's exactly what's happening in at least one household in the Columbus, Ohio, suburb of Delaware.
Paige Coughlin, daughter of two-time Pro Mod world champion drag racer Troy Coughlin and his wife Julie, is a senior at Worthington Christian High School. Because she maintains top marks with her studies, she's earned the right to follow her father, uncles, grandfather, older brother and older sister into a sport where her family name has reached legendary status.
Like most young drag racers, Paige started in a Junior Dragster, a scaled down rail powered by a Briggs and Stratton engine that can reach speeds of 85 mph. Nowadays, kids as young as 5 years old can join the class, but in Paige's youth the minimum age was 8.
Tearing down the track whenever her crowded scheduled allowed -- aside from racing, Paige enjoys showing horses, playing the violin and learning different languages -- Paige would be at the drag strip, either racing her Junior Dragster or supporting her brother Troy Jr., who races a variety of cars in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, her father Troy, sister Meghan, or three uncles.
In the summer of 2017, Paige took the next big step in her driving career when she graduated from the Junior Dragster ranks to Super Comp, the quickest of the NHRA's heads-up Super classes. She is now competing in the North Central Division as she completes her high school degree.