Cody Coughlin’s first race with Athenian Motorsports started on the right foot when he qualified near the front of the field on Friday evening at Texas Motor Speedway.  Coughlin matched his career-best starting position of 11th, and was fourth overall after the first round.

 

The 20-year-old driver was racing the Zaxby’s/JEGS.com truck in relief of the injured John Wes Townley.  When the race began, Coughlin was pinned on the bottom and was forced to fight hard.

 

A few circuits into the 147-lap Striping Technology 350, Coughlin and another truck made contact in the tight-confines of turn two at TMS.  The result was damage to the right front and right rear of his No. 05 machine.

 

“That damage definitely did hurt us,” said Coughlin, a Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver.  “At first it didn’t seem so bad, but it got worse before we were able to come in and fix it on the first caution.  The team is first-class and I appreciate how hard they worked.  I learned a lot from them this weekend as I continue to gain more experience in the series.”

 

Much of the right-front splitter broke off of the truck, which made the machine a handful for Coughlin to drive.  Coughlin’s crew chief, Jimmy Villenueve, spent much of the race letting Coughlin know that he was doing a great job with an injured truck.

 

While Coughlin’s finish of 27th wasn’t what he had hoped for, Coughlin said he still enjoyed working with the Athenian Motorsports team.

 

“This is a great group of guys,” he said.  “I had a lot of fun working with them this weekend.  I’m very appreciative of them thinking of me to fill the seat while John Wes heals up.  It wasn’t the night that any of us wanted to have, but it was still a fun weekend.

 

“I can’t thank the Athenian guys enough for the opportunity to drive their equipment.  I also can’t thank my parents (Di and John) and my sister, Kennedi, enough for all of their love and support.  My mom and sister weren’t at the race this weekend, but they were texting me giving me encouragement before I strapped in for the race.  I’m blessed to have such a great family.”

 

Coughlin has experienced a history-making season with two Late Model championships (ARCA CRA Super Series and the JEGS / CRA All-Stars Tour) and six victories total.

 

For more information on Cody Coughlin and Team JEGS, visit www.teamjegs.com and follow Cody on Twitter, @Cody_Coughlin.  Follow Team JEGS on Twitter, @TeamJEGS, and “Like”JEGS Performance on Facebook.  Any other inquiries for Cody Coughlin can be sent to Bob Dillner via email at bd51sports@gmail.com.