HEBRON, Ohio (Aug. 1) — Two-time Division 3 champion Mike Coughlin hopes to fill his competitive hunger with some genuine home cooking at this weekend’s Buckeye Fuel Wars at his hometown track, National Trail Raceway in nearby Hebron. The race is the fourth North Central Division event in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
“We can’t wait to race this weekend at our favorite track of all-time,” said Coughlin, who hails from the Columbus suburb of Delaware, Ohio. “My brothers and I literally grew up at National Trail and now all of our kids have fallen in love with the place, and many of them race here also. There’s no place like home, and this is home for us.
“The coolest thing racing here is all our friends and family can come out and join the fun. Plus, we have more than 350 JEGS associates and a lot of them come support us. There are even a few that race themselves so we’ll have some great times, for sure.”
Coughlin will be piloting his proven JEGS.com Top Dragster, which he drove to the winner’s circle at February’s season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. He’s since done enough in the yellow and black bullet to remain ranked in the top 10 in Division 3, his home division where he won Top Sportsman titles in 2007 and 2009, and the top 25 nationally.
“We’ve been running so well there just isn’t any reason to change anything,” said Coughlin, who has contested just three national and two divisional events so far. “Minor little things are all we’re having to adjust; we’re super happy with the car. Ryan Micke, Tony Collier, Dave Ruack and Greg Cody, these guys are so good with setting this thing up and making it easy for me to drive and focus on racing.
“I love race weekends at National Trail even though they are quite full of activities. Personally, I stay really busy and it’s much easier to keep your mind in race mode and keep your focus. You’re generally very busy but it’s a fun kind of busy.”
The first race of the weekend opens with Top Dragster qualifying sessions at 3:30 p.m., Friday, followed by two more time trials at 12:30 and 4:30 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., Sunday.
“The JEGS pit will be busy,” Coughlin said. “My son Clay and Dave Ruack’s son Michael will be joining the action in their Junior Dragsters so hopefully we’ll be bringing home a few trophies.
“The new owners of National Trail have made some considerable improvements and it’s exciting to see so much life being breathed back into this track. We’re all ready to race.”
Tickets for the Buckeye Fuel Wars are $20 per day per person. A three-day pass is $50. Children ages 6-12 are $5 per day. Children 5 and under are free.
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