Coughlin rides roughshod over Day 1 qualifying field Three-time POWERade champion Jeg Coughlin rode a brand-new powerplant to a pair of Texas Motorplex records and the provisional top qualifier position Friday at the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals...
Coughlin rides roughshod over Day 1 qualifying field
Three-time POWERade champion Jeg Coughlin rode a brand-new powerplant to a pair of Texas Motorplex records and the provisional top qualifier position Friday at the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals near Dallas. Coughlin, who won the Pro Stock title at this event in 2002, posted a class-leading 6.775-second pass at 204.20 mph in his powerful Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier to set the early pace.
"This new motor is mean," Coughlin said. "It's certainly the meanest thing we've had in a while. We rolled out three new motors from our shop recently and our performance has picked up with each one. It's satisfying and a real credit to our guy's labor that we've been able to close the gap on [points leader] Greg Anderson and the two Grump-powered cars. We're pretty happy right now."
Not necessarily known as a driver who shoots for the No. 1 spot during qualifying -- he has just seven poles in seven years of Pro competition -- Coughlin was quick to praise his engine builders, who benefited greatly from the extra research and development time resulting from last weekend's rainout in Reading, Pa.
"We actually finished this third motor just before Reading but when we looked at the weather radar up there we elected not to put it in because we didn't want to try out a brand new motor at a race where the possibility of losing rounds to rain looked like almost a sure thing." Coughlin said. "After that race rained out we had extra time to test back home and we knew we had something to play with right away."
Coughlin was strong from the very start, posting a 6.822-second pass at 202.91 mph in opening round of qualifying to help set the early pace. His run was the fastest of the session and the second quickest, which gave the Jeg's Mail Order team a good baseline tune-up to tweak for their stellar evening pass.
"From daytime to night this track gets so much better," Coughlin said. "And today, especially after the fuel cars ran a round and filled in the bare spots, this track was great from start to finish. My guys did a good job of hitting the setup just right and we were able to open strong. We're happy."
Saturday's two Pro sessions are scheduled to begin at noon and 2:30 p.m. Sunday's elimination racing begins promptly at 11 a.m. All of this weekend's action will be carried on ESPN2. Check local listings for times in your area.