Coughlin debuts Dodge in test

Four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin tests his new Dodge Avenger as he prepares to return from a hiatus to the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. (Photo by Ron Lewis)

Jeg Coughlin put his new Jerry Haas-built JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger on the dragstrip for the first time Sunday at Palm Beach International Raceway near Jupiter, Fla.

The test session came on the heels of the PRO Winter Warm-up that showcased Top Fuel and Funny Car teams. He shared the track Sunday with Top Fuel racer Clay Millican, Funny Car driver Tim Wilkerson, and the John Force Racing Funny Car contingent of John Force, Courtney Force, Robert Hight, and Mike Neff.
Coughlin's appearance in South Florida also followed crew chief Tomi Lane's trip with crew member Dave Yediny to the Chrysler Technical Center in Michigan for what turned out to be 12 hours of wind-tunnel testing for the Avenger chassis.
Coughlin called that wind tunnel experience "an incredible amount of time for us to gain data." He said, "The guys made several 'runs' and were extremely pleased with the results."
When he announced his return to the Pro Stock class after a year's layoff, Coughlin said, "There's no doubt we have the capacity to be frontrunners right from the start of the season in Pomona (Calif.). I expect I'll have the jitters the first time I get back in a Pro Stock car. But I took off nine months once before, and it all came back very quickly that time."
He won NHRA Pro Stock titles in 2000, 2002, 2007, and 2008 and won the 1992 Super Gas title. The 2012 season begins with th Feb. 9-12 Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, at the L.A. County Fairplex.

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