Coughlin Brothers Racing, with 15 year old driver Cody Coughlin, has won the inaugural Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Howe Racing with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts in its inaugural 2011 season. The award, named after legendary crew chief Howie Lettow who passed away last year after a valiant battle with cancer, honors the driver who finished highest in Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Howe Racing points during the season.
Lettow was a respected and successful crew chief in the old ASA National Tour and with the now defunct ASA Late Model Series. Few individuals had the credentials of Lettow and his outstanding ability to mold and work with some of the finest short track stock car drivers in the country, especially his ability to work with rookie drivers. Lettow worked with an impressive list of drivers who earned Rookie of the Year honors including Pat Schauer, NASCAR Superstar Jimmy Johnson, Ken Lund, Ted Musgrave, Scott Hansen, Steve Holzhausen, Steve Carlson, Ricky Johnson and David Stremme.
Each rookie of the year candidate was allowed to drop their worse two finishes during the season, so the results were based on their nine best finishes during the just completed 2011 season. Coughlin finished the season with 774 adjusted points. Jimmy Novak was second with 684 adjusted points. Tom Woodin finished in third with 654 adjusted points. Those three were the only rookie’s to compete in every event with the series during the 2011 season.
Coughlin came into the 2011 season having only competed in a hand full of races ever in a stock car, much less a late model. Coughlin’s season started off rough when he was taken out before the first lap was completed at the series season opener at Toledo Speedway by another car that had slipped up the track directly into Coughlin sending him hard into the outside retaining wall destroying his car and ending his day before it ever got started.
Coughlin rebounded quick with a 12th place finish at Dixie Motor Speedway in the series next race, then a fifth place finish in the series third event of the season at Dixie Motor Speedway. From there Coughlin would go on to get four top five finishes including a season high second place finish at the series event at Rockford Speedway. Coughlin finished with 7 top ten finishes in the series 11 events in 2011. Coughlin finished sixth in overall series Championship points. Coughlin won the Howe Racing Rookie of the Race Award, which goes to the highest finishing registered rookie at each series event, in eight of the 11 events in 2011.
“I feel like we had a strong season,” remarked Cody Coughlin. “It’s an honor to receive the rookie of the award, that was our main goal this season and I am glad we accomplished it. I am looking forward to next season and making a run for the series Championship!”
Team owner John Coughlin added, “It was a great season, I felt like we really progressed all season and above all we had a lot of fun. When I quit being a racer myself, I didn’t know if I would enjoy the races, but it was just as exciting for me to watch my son race as it was when I was drag racing! CRA is a one of the top racing organizations in the country and did an outstanding job with the new series this year!”
“Winning the Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Howe Racing means a lot to me personally,” remarked Crew Chief Rich Lushes. “I have always watched and admired what Howie was able to do with young drivers and the success they always had. Over the past seven years I got the privilege of getting to know Howie and also competing against him, he was a great person with so much unbelievable knowledge, I knew if I went to the track and beat his car that I did my job that day.”
Lushes added, “I believe we had a great season, we accomplished our goals of finishing in the top 10 and winning the rookie of the year. I really need to thank all my guys on the crew for a successful season Rick Rossister, John Szittai, Clay Filson, Bud St. Amant, Gary St. Amant and David Holt, without any one of these guys our great season would have not been possible. We are looking forward to 2012 competing for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour championship and running a handful of CRA Super Series races.”
For winning the Howie Lettow Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Howe Racing, Coughlin Brothers Racing will receive the choice of a bare Howe Racing Late Model Chassis or a $1000 cash bonus from Howe Racing. Cody will receive a jacket from Howe Racing. Howe Racing will award the second place finisher Jimmy Novak with a $100 Product Certificate and third place finisher Tom Woodin with a $50 Product Certificate. All the awards will be presented at the 2011 CRA Awards Banquet.
More information on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts is available at www.craracing.net.