Memphis: Pro Stock Trucks have new winner

Memphis, Tenn. (Oct. 8) - Cool temperatures and low humidity at the 13th Annual AutoZone Nationals in Memphis, Tenn. has produced the quickest and fastest field in the history of the Pro Stock Truck class. Along the way both the National ET and ...

Memphis, Tenn. (Oct. 8) - Cool temperatures and low humidity at the 13th Annual AutoZone Nationals in Memphis, Tenn. has produced the quickest and fastest field in the history of the Pro Stock Truck class. Along the way both the National ET and Speed records would fall.

In the fourth round of qualifying Greg Stanfield, driver of the DBP Enterprises Chevrolet S-10, would drive is truck to an amazing 7.438 / 180.69 mph. The run would not only be good for the Number 1 qualifying spot, but also would also reset both the National ET and Speed records.

The ET record would fall again in the first round of eliminations when Winston Champion Bob Panella, driver of the Panella Trucking Chevrolet S-10, ran a 7.428 / 179.49 mph while defeating a red lighting Mark Whisnant. Panella, who exited the race in Round 3, will leave the Memphis Motorsports park as the holder of the new National ET record of 7.428.

Falling records was not the only story here Memphis this weekend. For only the second time this year the Pro Stock Truck class would find a new face in the winners circle.

Mike Coughlin, driver of the Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet S-10, met Steve Johns, driver of the Castrol Super Clean Chevrolet S-10, in the final round of eliminations.

When the lights came down on the tree it was all Coughlin. Coughlin ran a 7.473 / 179.11 mph to a red lighting Johns who ran a 9.480 / 94.07 mph.

On his way to the final Coughlin would defeat Scott Perin, Todd Patterson and Bob Panella.

"This is a really special win for me," said Coughlin. "This is my first win this season. It is also the first time we have doubled up at a race (brother Jeg Coughlin Jr. won Pro Stock and clinched the Pro Stock World Championship here today). Combined with Jeggie winning the championship, this is a very special day for our whole team. Our family has always raced together, and it is unbelievably special to be able to win together.

"There were no easy runs out there today, for me or for anybody else in this class. This year our team has had some up and some downs, but we all really pulled together today. My Dad (Jeg Sr.) had the car set perfect, and Richard Maskin gave us great horsepower. Everything came together for us. I couldn't be happier."

Johns would defeat John Coughlin, Taylor Lastor and Jeff Gracia on his way to the final round.

"We ran really well here this weekend," said Johns, "and this was a tough place to run good. These guys were running some big number here, and we stayed right with them. That got us to the final. It has been a while since I have been to the final round ('99 AAA World Finals in Pomona, Calif.), I'm just glad to be in the final. It didn't turn out the way I would have like, but we will be in more finals before this is over."

The next stop on the NHRA Drag Racing tour for the Pro Stock Trucks will be the O'Reilly Auto Parts Fall Nationals in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 19 - 22.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Bob Panella , Jeff Gracia , Mike Coughlin , Greg Stanfield