We've always been a racing family. Having a dad that raced as much as ours and then being one of four brothers and watching them grow into the sport ahead of me, it was very natural for me to fall right in line.
I can actually remember being as young as 3 years old and being excited about the weekend ahead because we'd have a race to attend. My excitement would usually start the night before we'd leave because our mom would be packing things up and I could look out the windows of the house and see the ramp truck with the race car loaded up out in the street. I knew we'd be up bright and early heading to another race as a family. Those are such wonderful memories.
Many times during the week, as soon as we'd finish up our schoolwork, which was always a requirement, we'd usually find our way over to the race shop. There were countless nights and weekends spent in that shop working on stuff and just hanging out, talking about racing, being together. We always managed to get dirty doing something.
You can imagine four brothers in a race shop. We'd jump at the chance to wash parts, wipe the car down, clean stuff. Being the smallest, there were more than a few occasions when I was rolled around the shop inside one of those big Goodyear slicks off dad's car.
My father was a great pioneer, engineer, and innovator in his own right. He was also a wonderful businessman, promotor, and idea guy. He's my hero in so many ways.
Growing up in this family, I developed a love for this sport that has turned into such a wonderful career. We've been fortunate to have enjoyed so much success as a team, dating all the way back to when dad was racing and now even with the third-generation of Coughlins out there tearing it up. It's a great legacy.
When we were younger, dad kept us busy and was always challenging us. There was always something to do and he'd make sure to let us see a path to success in whatever he had us working on. He had a great ability to give us tasks that were appropriate for our age. At 3, 4, 5 years old we'd be wiping stuff down. At 8 or 9, we'd be dropping the pan off the bottom end. He allowed us to be hands-on and that was so helpful when we started driving ourselves. We'd know what we were experiencing through the feedback the car gives you because we knew what each part is supposed to do.
When we did start driving, he pushed us to be better. He showed us there was something to be learned in every run and how important the details were on your timeslip. He wanted us to know the car from front to back and figure out why it was doing what it was doing.
Racing pretty much extended into every part of our lives. Dinner time conversations with four boys that were crazy about racing and a dad in the high-performance parts business inevitably involved racing.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have grown up as a Coughlin with such loving and caring parents. I can't imagine a better life.
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