JEGS’ Coughlin Jr. leads 2019 Atco TAD Divisional

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

ATCO, NJ — JEGS Top Alcohol Dragster Troy Coughlin Jr. is the No. 1 qualifier on Friday night at Atco Dragway in Atco, New Jersey. The Delaware, Ohio native went 5.233 at 277.26 mph.

Coughlin Jr. will receive a bye in eliminations.

Top Alcohol Dragster Troy Coughlin Jr. readies to do qualifying session one at the NHRA Division at Atco Dragway
Troy Coughlin Jr. readies to do qualifying session one at the NHRA Division at Atco Dragway (Photo by Anthony Caruso III)

“It’s kind of the backyard of the McPhillips boys,” Coughlin Jr. said. “It doesn’t surprise me. These guys get to race out here a lot. They know the race track really well. Division 1 does a fantastic job of prepping. Hats off to my entire team at the McPhillips Racing team for making this possible, as they have done a fantastic job. They have been able to get the car from A to B and working through the adversity. These cars are not that simple to get down these race tracks as far as a tune up standpoint.”

Technet and Advance Auto Parts Top Alcohol Dragster Josh Hart is the No. 2 qualifier. The Ocala, Florida native went 5.240 at 282.13 mph.

New Jersey native Jackie Fricke is the No. 3 qualifier. The Flemington, New Jersey native — who drives for Finke Racing — went 5.277 at 278.17 mph.

Duane Shields is the No. 4 qualifier. The Peak sponsored Boulder City, Nevada native went 5.307 at 276.46 mph.

Tom Fox Jr. is the No. 5 qualifier. The Shamong, New Jersey — who is just minutes away from home — went 5.342 at 270.54 mph.

Daniel Dietrich is also the No. 6 qualifier. The Glen Arm, Maryland native went 5.517 at 262.44 mph.

Earl Nichols is in the show and qualified seventh. The Wilmington, Delaware native went 5.536 at 257.78 mph.

Frank Schuster was the last qualified dragster. He was eighth after going 5.538 at 262.95 mph.

“We get to enjoy one lap at a time,” Coughlin Jr. said who will face Schuster in the first-round. “We’re prepared to compete together and we will. We’re going to take it one perfect effort, one lap at a time. I have to stay calm and relaxed and try to get the checkers. It’s a lot easier than said done.”

Bruce Horner, Tom Pickett, Karen Stalba, and Cliff Bozzelli did not make the show. Eliminations begin at 3:30 pm today with another elimination run at 5:30 pm and the finals at approx 7:30 pm.


  1. Troy Coughlin Jr. vs. Frank Schuster
  2. Josh Hart vs. Earl Nichols
  3. Jackie Fricke vs. Daniel Dietrich
  4. Duane Shields vs. Tom Fox Jr.

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