Cody Coughlin was just a few hundred feet shy of the white flag when a lapped car just ahead of had a rear tire come clean off the race car to bring out the caution flag. After two more restarts and a lengthy red flag, Coughlin finally took the checkered flag at Indiana’s Salem Speedway in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour 100.
It was just that kind of night in Indiana. A full moon night at a short track where wild things happen.
“I thought for a while I wasn’t supposed to win this race,” Coughlin said. “A lapped car loses a wheel right in front of me as we’re about to take the white, then a big pileup in turn one and a red flag that seemed like it took an hour. I was starting to think we wouldn’t get it, but thankfully we did.”
The win is the first of the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour season for Coughlin who leads the series points. However, it is the fourth win of the season for Coughlin in CRA competition in 2016. Coughlin also leads the ARCA/CRA Super Series points thanks to his three wins there.
“This year has just been phenomenal so far,” said Coughlin. “There’s really no other way to describe it.”
Coughlin’s day started off about as well as it ended. In qualifying Coughlin set a Salem Speedway track record for Pro Late Models with a lap of 16.69 seconds. However, Coughlin drew a 10 for the invert, which meant he’d have to pass some cars.
But Coughlin quickly made his way through the field, taking four positions on the very first lap of the race. After that Coughlin methodically made his way to the front before taking the lead with about 25 laps to go.
Coughlin dealt with multiple restarts and multiple charges by his crew chief and teammate, Jack Smith. Smith started at the rear of the field after failing post-qualifying technical inspection, but flew through the field to the runner-up position.
“It was pretty cool, but I was pretty nervous in the beginning,” said Smith. “I was kind of holding back and I saw a lot of people were. I went to the wood and used a lot of my stuff up coming through there. But that isn’t meant to take away anything from Cody. I’m very happy with how it all has turned out.”
Coughlin was even happier with how things turned out. He and his crew chief finished one and two, but he was the one ahead.
“I knew Jack was fast, especially on the short runs,” Coughlin said. “That was the plan to finish one and two. Now we move onto the next one.”
For an on-demand recap of today’s Trackside Now coverage presented by PFC Brakes, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Jegs/CRA All-Stars Tour 100
Salem Speedway, Salem, Indiana
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