By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor
One year removed from a double-championship run in the Champion Racing Association’s (CRA) top two late model tours –the ARCA/CRA Super Series and JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour– 21-year-old Cody Coughlin is set to leap up to full-time competition in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) with ThorSport Racing.
Coughlin, a native of Delaware, Oh., will join ThorSport in nearby Sandusky, Oh., driving the No. 13 Toyota for his first full-time season of NASCAR competition in 2017 with support from JEGS and Ride Television Network, Inc. (RIDE TV). Coughlin will compete for both the championship and Rookie of the Year honors.
Cody Coughlin’s No. 13 Toyota for 2017. (Photo: ThorSport Racing)
“ThorSport Racing is a great team, one I’ve always admired at the race track,” said Coughlin. “Their professionalism, the speed they display, and their record, speaks for itself. Considering the team and I are both based in Ohio, it makes for a great fit, and I’m proud to be part of this championship-caliber organization.
“Matt Crafton and I became good friends last year,” Coughlin continued. “His insight and help with driving these Toyota Tundra’s at all of the different tracks has been a valuable asset, and to be his teammate this year, takes it to the next level.”
Coughlin enters 2017 with 12-career starts in the NCWTS, including 10 drives for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2016 with a career-best finish of 12th at Texas Motor Speedway.
Veteran crew chief Michael Shelton will move to ThorSport as Coughlin’s crew chief after serving the same role for John Wes Townley in 2016. Shelton has seven victories in 134 attempts in the Truck Series, including a NCWTS championship with James Buescher in 2012.
The 2017 NCWTS season will begin on Feb. 24, when the tour heads to Daytona International Speedway for the NextEra Energy Resources 250.