MIKE COUGHLIN, JEG'S MAIL ORDER CHEVY S-10, claimed his second title of the year, benefiting from an outstanding reaction time, a .401 (.400 is perfect) to defeat SCOTT PERIN, NAPA DEVELOPMENT CORP. CHEVY S-10, in an all-Chevy S-10 final.
MIKE COUGHLIN, JEG'S MAIL ORDER CHEVY S-10, claimed his second title of the year, benefiting from an outstanding reaction time, a .401 (.400 is perfect) to defeat SCOTT PERIN, NAPA DEVELOPMENT CORP. CHEVY S-10, in an all-Chevy S-10 final. Coughlin's elapsed time of 7.649 seconds at 175.07 also bettered Perin's 7.668/174.96 (.485 R/T). This was Perin's first trip to the final round.
Coughlin moves into fourth place in the Winston Championship point standings, bumping Randy Daniels down to fifth.
COUGHLIN: "We started out the weekend by qualifying13th and then shortly after that we put another engine in it which we thought might be better. We did some testing with my old engine before this race and figured out that we probably could change it, and it seems to run a lot better. We decided to change it before the last qualifying session, and it seemed to pay off. It ran real strong in the final. We saved the best for last. It just worked out that way. My father (Jeg Sr.) was making some good calls in the clutch area and Richard Maskin was doing a great job in the tuneup." ON WINNING THE U.S. NATIONALS: "I dreamed since I was a kid that I would go to Indy and after the race I would turn around and be the one to win. It's unbelievable, it's nothing you can describe, you have to experience it. My brother Troy and my brother Jeg have won it, it's a dream come true." ON WINNING FROM 13TH POSITION: "When I won Englishtown I was No. 13 qualifier, so I don't think it's an unlucky number, especially for me." COULD YOU SEE PERIN DURING THE RUN? "I staged first and he came in. We had a good tree and I was so ready to go for the pedal I had an extremely good reaction time. It could have gone the other way, but it didn't. When I put it in fifth gear I kind of glanced over and I didn't see anything happen in the other lane, I was hoping and waiting for the win light to come on in my lane." ON THE EXCELLENT LIGHT: "I really knew it was close. When I put in fifth gear I checked the scoreboard to see that his win light wasn't on already." ON THE POINTS CHASE: "This helped me out tremendously in points. I don't know about the championship. It's going pretty good, I guess it isn't too far out of reach. This definitely helps."
PERIN: "It was so exciting. I was getting sick to my stomach up there. A .401 is going to be tough to beat. We picked up from the last round, we thought we could run with him. It was pretty close on e.t." ON BEING IN THE FINAL ROUND AT THE U.S. NATIONALS: "All I can say about the beginning of last week my crew chief (Dave Yediny) and I were talking about not being able to qualify with so many trucks here. To get to the finals, we just couldn't be happier." WHAT DO YOU OWE THIS SUCCESS TO? "The six-week break. We all went out and tested and my crew chief and I really worked hard together. That, Bill Jenkins, Stevie Johns and Roy Hill, brought it all together. I love my Chevy S-10. Jerry Haas built a great Chevy S-10. He's been a big help. When we were struggling before with our other motor he was helping. We got the Jenkins motor in Englishtown. Jenkins told us the better we do the more he will help us. We worked hard to impress him and he's been helping."
Note: Perin is 25, was a bracket racer for four years before this year, at Island Dragway in Great Meadows, N.J. Perin lives in PenArgyl, Pa. He's run every Pro Stock Truck race in '99 except Pomona. Best finish: one round win at Winston Showdown (special event) at Bristol Dragway.