By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
JEGS/Elite Performance Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. announced on Saturday that the 2020 NHRA season will be his final full season in Pro Stock. While he announced his plans to step away from the sport, he has not ruled out select one-off Pro Stock races at the conclusion of this season.
This tour will be known as his “Breaking Barriers Tour.” Following this season, Coughlin Jr. — one of just a handful of drivers, who have 50 or more wins in Pro Stock — will compete in bracket races and Sportsman races.
“Since 1997, I’ve been able to live out my biggest childhood dream by racing with my family and following my Dad and older brother Troy into the professional ranks and racing a Pro Stock car,” Coughlin Jr. said. “We’ve been able to win six championships, five in Pro Stock, and 82 national events in a variety of classes. It’s been a remarkable run.
“It certainly hasn’t been an individual effort. It’s taken so many talented crewmen and crew chiefs, engine builders and chassis experts, my incredible family, everyone at JEGS, and all the other companies that have partnered with us through the years. I couldn’t have asked for a better scenario.”
Coughlin Jr. is the second driver to announce that this will be their final full-time season. Jason Line announced in January that he will be retiring when the season ends.
The reason why Coughlin Jr. is stepping away is because he wants to spend more time with his family. Even with the Pro Stock schedule going to 18 races from 24 last season, he believes that’s still not enough time to spend with his loved one’s.
“The transition to 18 events was great for me,” he said. “It allowed for more family time as well as some extra work days at JEGS. I realized early on how nice it was to be more present outside of racing. Our daughter Carly is 5 this year and has so much going on, and my son Jeg III is 23, graduating from college in the spring and is ready to chase his dream of playing professional golf and ultimately on the PGA Tour. We stay busy, and it was great to be there for many more moments last year.”
He has been considering retirement since the end of the 2019 season. But he decided to give it a go during the 50th anniversary of the Pro Stock category.
“This is the 50th year of Pro Stock and the NHRA has some neat things planned to celebrate that milestone,” Coughlin said. “Our company is celebrating its 60th year in business, so we’ll be able to promote that occasion with our race program. Plus, I’m turning 50 so it seems like a bunch of things fell into place to continue into 2020.
“The support of the fans also has driven me for many years. People stopping by and sharing stories or even just hollering the famed ‘JEGGGSSS’ when we roll through the pits is so cool. We’re lucky to have so many supporters.”