Drag Illustrated Issue 179, November / December 2022 - Page 32

Dirt

Spirit of a Champion

Rare genetic disorder doesn ’ t keep Jeggie Weets from living it up at the dragstrip By Kelly Wade

Certain names catch attention , but 9-year-old Jeggie Weets would most definitely catch your attention anyway . The precocious fourth grader and Jr . Dragster ace is active and social , and he clearly finds joy in making people laugh .

He ’ s also fighting a battle no child should have to face . Jeggie was diagnosed with Niemann Pick Disease Type C , a rare and fatal genetic disorder that , as yet , has no FDA approved treatment or cure .
Despite the progression of the disease , Jeggie has shown that he has a champion spirit that mimics that of the five-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion after which he was named , Jeg Coughlin Jr . In 2022 , young Jeggie reached multiple final rounds and finished sixth in the Cordova Dragway Jr . series points .
“ I just love going fast , “ he says . “ I ’ ve been drag racing since I was 5 , and the best part about it is the people I get to be around .”
His support group includes dad Brad and mom Jenna , as well as his 12-year-old sister , Claire . This year , she joined her little brother in the Jr . Dragster series and finished No . 7 at their home track .
Brad is also a racer , but the source of his joy these days comes from watching his kids compete .
“ It ’ s just awesome ,” he says . “ I love it , and it ’ s almost more fun than me driving . The Jr . Dragster program is great – it ’ s keeping the love of drag
racing in their hearts for generations .”
The family mostly stays local , but this season , they were invited to the historic U . S . Nationals in Indianapolis as special guests of some of the national event-touring Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series racers .
“[ Racer ] Steve Foley saw one of Jeg ’ s health articles and hit us up , and he ’ s associated with Daren Poole-Adams . We were complete strangers to them , but they had us here to hang out ,” Brad explains . “ They ’ re just the nicest guys you could ever meet ; it ’ s mind-boggling how good of people they are .”
Poole-Adams , a racer who also owns the COPO Camaro Foley campaigns in Stock Eliminator , sponsored the trip for the Weets family , and he also sponsors the siblings in the Jr . drag racing series .
“ They ’ re just a great , great family , and we love having them here ,” says Poole-Adams . “ That ’ s the really cool thing about drag racing : you get to meet awesome people like this and help one another out . It means something to all of us .”
For more information about Niemann Pick Disease Type C : fightnpc . com
Keep up with Jeggie ’ s journey : Facebook . com / jegsfightagainstnpc DI
PHOTOGRAPHS BY KELLY WADE
32 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 179