Pomona II: Jeg Coughlin Thursday summary

Coughlin pleased with opening-day effort POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 9) -- Three-time series champion and defending race champion Jeg Coughlin is off to a solid start in his Slammers Ultimate Milk/Jegs.com Chevrolet Cobalt after the opening day ...

Coughlin pleased with opening-day effort

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 9) -- Three-time series champion and defending race champion Jeg Coughlin is off to a solid start in his Slammers Ultimate Milk/Jegs.com Chevrolet Cobalt after the opening day of qualifying action at the 42nd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway. Coughlin posted av.72 atr06.32 mph in his first attempt, good enough for ninth place on the provisional ladder.

"Not a bad start," said Coughlin, who beat Tom Martino in the final of this event 12 months ago. "We came out a little hot down low and spun the tires at the hit (of the throttle). I think all the crew chiefs looked at the conditions and stepped up their tune-ups. The problem was the track isn't quite ready to hold us yet.

"The track should come in a lot better as the weekend goes along and more rubber gets put down. The nitro cars should give us some good rubber and that will help. I'd imagine the track will be much, much better as early as tomorrow."

Running out of Victor Cagnazzi's camp, Coughlin says his group will benefit from the knowledge gained by all three team cars. Currently, Coughlin's teammate Tommy Lee isq8th with av.753 atr06.26 mph, while Cagnazzi Racing engine customer Dave Connolly is third overall with av.701 at 206.35 mph.

"You can easily see the benefits of running three cars," Coughlin said. "We already have three runs to tune from after just one session. It's a big advantage. Plus, let's face it, Victor has some of the best and brightest minds in the sport on this crew.

"I figured the low number would be 6.65 that round. Greg [Anderson] put up a 6.67, which was a pretty good poke, but like the rest of us, he left a lot on the table. We'll see how the conditions are tomorrow but I'd expect improvements across the board."

Coughlin also hopes to benefit from an impromptu test session earlier this week in Fontana, Calif.

"We're definitely here to win this race but we're also trying to set the table for a championship run next year," Coughlin said. "The goal is to make this car as efficient as possible. The three races we've run here at the end of the year have been fantastic. It will be even better if we leave here with a Wally."

-credit: team jegs

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Tommy Lee , Tom Martino , Dave Connolly