Cody Coughlin fought tooth-and-nail to a fifth-place finish in one of the crown jewel Pro Late Models races in the county, the Champion Racing Oil Masters of the Pros at Lebanon Missouri’s I-44 Speedway. The Joe Gibbs Racing Development driver started 11th on Saturday night in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event and fought his way to his third consecutive top-five finish in Late Model competition.
Coughlin, who was riding a streak of two consecutive Late Model victories heading into the event, fought an ill-handling race car much of the day. Yet, Coughlin and the Team JEGS crew never backed down in the fiercely contested 144-lap showdown for the Pro Late Models on the 3/8-mile high-banked oval.
“Tonight was about what it looks like; it’s an okay run,” said Coughlin. “We weren’t very good, but we made the most of it and brought home a top five. It’s not a win, and anytime you don’t win it’s disappointing, but we’ll get them again next time.”
Coughlin methodically made his way through the field from a starting spot just outside the top 10. He passed cars wherever he could on the race track, using both the inside and outside grooves.
The 20-year-old Ohio native was rarely in the outside groove for restarts, which is preferred line. On the final restart Coughlin used the outside groove to get back into the top five where he would finish.
For Coughlin, it’s now back to the Super Late Model and back to Indiana, the state in which he got his most recent victory (Anderson Speedway). Coughlin will look to pad his ARCA/CRA Super Series points lead at Baer Field Speedway in Fort Wayne, IN, on Saturday, May 21.
“I’ve never been to Baer Field before, but I’m confident my crew chief Jack Smith will give me a great car like always and we’ll get another win,” Coughlin said. “I’m really thankful to have a my great crew of Kevin (Hamlin, team manager), Scott (Wimmer, spotter), and Dave (Holt, crew member) who put in so much hard work. I’m also really thankful to have the love and support of my parents, Di and John, and my awesome sister Kennedi. I’ve just really been blessed by the Lord above for the great success we’ve had lately.”