It wasn’t the win he was in line for, but after a flat tire forced Cody Coughlin to pit while leading with 30 laps to go, the Joe Gibbs Racing Development driver finished strong to salvage a top-ten finish Saturday at the Auto City 100 in Clio, Michigan.
“We didn’t qualify that well and started 14th, but we battled our way up to the top ten pretty fast,” Coughlin said. “Then we were in the top six, then the top three and then we were leading. The two fast guys were sent to the tail for causing a caution, which gave us the lead. While we were leading the right front tire went down and we were able to change it under caution … but we rallied back to a sixth-place finish.”
Coughlin picked his spots well early on, weaving through a pair of big accidents on his way to running fifth at the halfway mark.
He took the lead with 30 laps to go, but felt the right front tire going flat on the restart. The yellow came out for another car’s spin, allowing Coughlin to come in and replace the tire.
“I wasn’t able to come up on Friday to test, and we had limited practice time today to work on the setup,” Coughlin said. “Nick Easton, our crew chief, and Kevin Hamlin, our team manager, did a great job getting it pretty comfortable for me. Scott Wimmer was awesome as my spotter and Dave Holt worked his tail off today. I really appreciate their efforts.”
He also had support from his family.
“It’s great to have the positive support from my family at the track and I’m very thankful that they were here tonight. I really am grateful for them being there and helping with my racing career,” Coughlin said. “I also have to thank God for giving us a safe race tonight. There were some close calls out there tonight and I praise him for him watching over us.”