Las Vegas: GM Racing Friday summary

Jeg Coughlin Jr. Puts Chevy Cobalt on the Pole at The Strip at LVMS Two-time NHRA Pro Stock Champion Looks for Second Straight No. 1 Qualifying Award LAS VEGAS, April 13, 2007 - Jeg Coughlin Jr. put his Chevy Cobalt at the top of the Pro Stock...

Jeg Coughlin Jr. Puts Chevy Cobalt on the Pole at The Strip at LVMS
Two-time NHRA Pro Stock Champion Looks for Second Straight No. 1 Qualifying Award

LAS VEGAS, April 13, 2007 - Jeg Coughlin Jr. put his Chevy Cobalt at the top of the Pro Stock leader board after the first day of time trials at the SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 36-year-old Ohio native posted a 6.733 e.t. at 204.26 mph to take the No. 1 qualifying spot with one day of time trials remaining on Saturday.

"Tonight our second qualifying session kind of drew a little bit later than we anticipated," explained Coughlin. "The Pro Stock cars like it when the air gets a little cooler and the track gets a little tighter. The sun was behind the tower, the starting line was real nice and our Slammers Chevy Cobalt stepped up. We had a couple of incidents earlier in the session and that put the sun behind the mountains and pushed our run back even further. The track was outstanding, and Tommy Utt, Roy Simmons and Victor Cagnazzi did a great job on my car and Dave's (Connolly) Torco Race Fuels Chevrolet. It's nice being on the pole going into Saturday.

"We've gone into the last three Saturdays, at Gainesville, Houston and now here at Las Vegas, leading the pack. This is a real tribute to the guys in the engine shop and to everyone who works on the chassis. It's been real exciting, without question. Tomorrow's supposed to be a warm day, and we can't count our chickens yet at this point. We'll have to do our homework and have our Chevy Cobalt prepared for Q3 and I know that's what our team is back there doing as we speak."

Coughlin, a two-time NHRA Pro Stock champion (2000, 2002), is coming of a strong performance at the last event in Houston where he also earned No. 1 qualifying honors. The Slammers Ultimate Milk Chevy Cobalt driver is three-time winner at Las Vegas Motor Speedway winning the spring race in 2000-01 and the fall event in 2002. He has nine career No. 1 qualifying awards but has never been low qualifier at this venue.

"Our biggest obstacle today down track was the crosswind on the first run," said Coughlin. "That was another reason why you saw the Pro Stock cars picking up during the second session. The cross wind pretty much went away and the track was outstanding. We couldn't ask for a better facility to race on. I think you'll see some good times tomorrow too.

"Our goal is to see what Mother Nature deals us as far as the weather goes, and optimize our setup as best we can. Sunday is going to be another interesting day, and fortunately we have a good data base to work from. We've tested here many times. We should be very strong, not only tomorrow but Sunday as well."

Coughlin's Cagnazzi Racing teammate Dave Connolly has his Chevy Cobalt parked in the No. 1 qualifying spot, and matched Coughlin's 6.733 second run, but ran a slower top speed of 203.49 mph.

Greg Anderson has the quickest Pontiac GTO in the 16-car field and is qualified in the No. 5 position with a 6.749 e.t. at 204.79 mph, the fastest speed of the meet so far. Anderson is looking to qualify for his 98th straight event.

Warren Johnson has the GM Performance Parts Pontiac qualified seventh with a 6.756 run at 203.28 mph, and Jim Yates rounds out the top half of the field in a Pontiac with 6.762 e.t at 203.49 mph. Yates needs to win just one more round to capture his 400th career round win.

Qualifying coverage of the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals will be telecast on ESPN2 on Saturday, April 14, beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern. NHRA Race Day will kick off eliminator coverage on April 15 starting at 11 a.m. Eastern on ESPN2, and a three-hour telecast of final eliminations will start at 6 p.m. Eastern.

-credit: gm racing

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