Baytown: GM Racing Friday summary

Coughlin Sets Track Record to Take Provisional Pole for Second Consecutive NHRA Event Team Chevy Makes it Two for Two at Houston With Cruz Pedregon No. 1 in Funny Car BAYTOWN , Texas , March 30, 2007 - It was deja-vu for Team Chevy after the...

Coughlin Sets Track Record to Take Provisional Pole for Second Consecutive NHRA Event

Team Chevy Makes it Two for Two at Houston With Cruz Pedregon No. 1 in Funny Car

BAYTOWN , Texas , March 30, 2007 - It was deja-vu for Team Chevy after the first day of qualifying for this weekend's 20 th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park . For the second consecutive NHRA event, Jeg Coughlin in Pro Stock and Cruz Pedregon in Funny Car placed their Chevys on the provisional pole in their respective classes. Coughlin may have served notice to his fellow Pro Stock competitors by posting the quickest times in both sessions on the first of two days of qualifying. The two-time NHRA Pro Stock champion drove his Slammers Ultimate Milk/Jegs.com Chevy Cobalt to a track-record elapsed time of 6.649 seconds at 208.17 mph in the first session, and then the Ohio native came back with a class-leading 6.662 e.t. in the evening session.

"I don't have a good feeling of whether the other teams are struggling a little bit or if we came out swinging, Coughlin said. "I know that .64 was a great, great shot for us. I thought tonight, even with the humidity going up a little bit and the air about the same, maybe a little thicker, I thought the track might come around a little bit. I thought a little bit of a tailwind might push us down there a little bit quicker. The left lane's typically a little better and we were in that preferred left lane, but none of that came true for us. One thing's for sure, we stayed No. 1 going into Saturday and we're excited about that.

"We're very, very excited going into Saturday here in Baytown . It's such a great, great facility and I've got great memories here. I had my first Pro Stock win here in 1997 in just our second start, so this place has always been near and dear to my heart. For (team owner) Victor Cagnazzi and the entire Slammers Ultimate Milk team, to be on top for both sessions today is definitely a feather in our cap."

Coughlin is no stranger to the winner's circle here at Houston Raceway Park as he had back-to-back wins in the fall event here in 1997-98 and then returned with a win at this event in 2000. He and defending event champ Mike Edwards are second only to GM Performance Parts Pontiac driver Warren Johnson with six career wins at the Houston quarter-mile.

"(The team's) been working extremely, extremely hard - working extremely hard on race engines, working extremely hard on race setups. This past week, Sunday and Monday, the entire Slammers Ultimate Milk team and the (teammate) Torco Racing Fuels team with Dave Connolly went to Farmington Dragway in North Carolina and made several hits on the two days. He tested my car as well, and I think our testing is definitely paying dividends right now and it's starting to show on the track."

In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon powered his Advance Auto Parts Chevy Monte Carlo to the provisional No. 1 qualifier with an elapsed time of 4.796 seconds at 300.20 mph to edge his teammate and brother, Tony, by a scant .002 seconds. Tony Pedregon drove his Q Racing Chevy Monte Carlo to a 4.798 e.t. at 291.26 mph and continues his qualifying prowess after setting a national Funny Car elapsed-time record in qualifying earlier this season en route to the event win at the series' second race at Phoenix.

"Being No. 1 is great and it would be good to keep it through tomorrow, but I'd trade it right now for some consistency," Cruz Pedregon said. "If we can run another 4.79 in the morning and then step it up and go a little quicker after that I'd be happy, no matter where we end up on the ladder. I just want to get down the track and pull the 'chutes a few times."

Qualifying for Sunday's eliminations continues tomorrow with third- and fourth-round sessions at 11:15 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Central, respectively.

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Cruz Pedregon , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards