The Mopar Performance banner will be waving strong in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock series with the announcement that five-time champ, Jeg Coughlin and two-time and defending champion, Erica Enders-Stevens will be campaigning a pair of Dodge Dart GTs in the first year of new fuel-injection era under the Elite Motorsports umbrella.
“The Mopar brand is excited to announce that two proven champions, Erica Enders and Jeg Coughlin, Jr., will fly the Mopar colors in the NHRA Pro Stock class next season,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “We couldn’t ask for greater competitors or brand ambassadors to represent us at the drag strip.”
In 2015, 32-year-old Enders won nine times, earned six No. 1 qualifiers, and had a 58-15 round win/loss record in attaining back-to-back championships. She has now 39 career wins and only trails Angelle Sampey with 41 victories to become the all-time ladies leader in the NHRA.
“We’re entering a new era of Pro Stock and it’s going to be awesome to take a new Mopar-powered Dodge Dart into 2016 and beyond,” said Enders, who began her career at age 8 racing half-scale Junior Dragsters, with her childhood racing story featured in the 2003 Disney Channel movie Right on Track. “We won the last two championships with carburetors and now the goal is to win the first one with fuel injection. The Dart Pro Stock cars look awesome and I’m already very familiar with Mopar because I’ve driven for them in the past. It’s an honor and a privilege to represent them moving forward, along with my teammate Jeg Coughlin, Jr.”
Coughlin is no stranger to anything with a gearshift. The five-time Pro Stock champion returns under the Mopar livery driving the “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Dart GT. He ran a part-time three-race schedule with Elite Motorsports in 2015 debuting at Sonoma and in the next race made it to the finals in Seattle, verifying why he has 58 victories in the class.
“The 2016 season is a turning point for the NHRA and the Pro Stock class,” said Coughlin, a Delaware, Ohio, native who raced a Mopar-powered Pro Stocker in 2005 and 2012-2014. “We’re really looking forward to the upcoming challenges. We are fortunate to have great partners with Mopar and the Magneti Marelli brands, Elite Motorsports, JEGS and Stockseth Racing. It will be a great next chapter in our careers.
“Also, I am looking forward to working beside one of the greatest drivers in the NHRA, Erica Enders, and the greatest crew, including Rick and Rickie Jones, Mark Ingersoll and Brian ‘Lump’ Self, all talented and championship-proven crew chiefs. It will be a great year for the entire Elite Motorsports team.”