Coughlin's 400th round could have been better The first round of the season-opening 45th annual Winternationals marked a minor historical moment for Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin. The 34-year-old, two-time Pro Stock champion was competing in his...
Coughlin's 400th round could have been better
The first round of the season-opening 45th annual Winternationals marked a minor historical moment for Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin. The 34-year-old, two-time Pro Stock champion was competing in his 400th elimination round as a professional, a landmark few drag racers ever reach, let alone one that turned Pro just a little more than seven years ago.
Unfortunately for Coughlin, who also won a world title in Super Gas in 1992, he ended up on the wrong end of this tilt, losing to fellow Ohioan Dave Connolly to put his career elimination record at 281-119 overall.
By the numbers, Connolly beat Coughlin by a comfortable margin, winning with a 6.710-second pass at 205.01 mph to Coughlin's surrendering 8.766 at 106.72 mph. The first-round loss leaves Coughlin 13th in the POWERade championship points after one race. By qualifying 13th, he remains eighth overall in the King Demon Crown points.
"We were just a little too aggressive with the tune-up," Coughlin said. "We've been chasing our tails just a bit since breaking the rear axle yesterday morning and although we went into the round firmly believing we had a good tune-up, we ended up being too greedy. I think the cloud cover and the cool temperatures got us thinking the air was better than it was out there.
"No worries. The beat goes on for this team. We have decided to make some more shakedown runs before Phoenix. We now know where we stand in relation to the field and we've narrowed our focus down to two or three things that we know we need to correct. Once we do that, we'll be able to compete with anyone."
The POWERade Drag Racing Series takes a weekend off before the 21st annual CSK Nationals, which run from Feb. 25-27 at Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix. Coughlin is a former winner in Phoenix, having claimed victory there in 2000.
"It's an exciting time for our family," Coughlin said. 'My son Jeggie turns 8 tomorrow so it's a big day because he's old enough to get in a Jr. Dragster now. The next generation is about to hit the racetrack. Happy birthday son."