Pomona: Jeg Coughlin Thursday summary

Coughlin surprised by solid first pass Pomona, Thursday: It wasn't shocking to see four-time Pomona winner Jeg Coughlin drive his new Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T through a fifth-best 6.751 at 203.58 mph on the opening day of the 45th ...

Coughlin surprised by solid first pass

Pomona, Thursday: It wasn't shocking to see four-time Pomona winner Jeg Coughlin drive his new Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T through a fifth-best 6.751 at 203.58 mph on the opening day of the 45th annual Winternationals, at least not to the other drivers in the class or the fans in the stands. The only one who truly seemed surprised at his impressive opening-round effort was Coughlin himself.

"When Bob (Glidden, crew chief) got on the radio and said I ran a 6.75 I couldn't believe it," said Coughlin, who won this race in 1999 and 2000. "It actually fired me up and got me really excited because the run just didn't feel that quick. If we can run a 6.75 when the car behaves like that, I can't wait to see what we'll do when it's dialed in."

Coughlin's run was shaky at the start, literally, as his giant Goodyear's struggled to stay glued to the racing surface. But once he got into the run, the Stratus picked up pace considerably and went through the scoreboards with a full head of steam.

"I wasn't 15 feet into the run when the tires started shaking," Coughlin said. "I grabbed second gear and it started shaking again. I thought I might have to lift (off the accelerator) but then it cleared up at the top of the gear and was smooth from there on out. Our incremental numbers down low weren't great but we were third quickest on the back half of the track so we've got room to improve and that's exciting. This little problem is easy to fix."

Racing in his first event as a member of the eight-car Schumacher Racing conglomeration, Coughlin will have three more chances -- one Friday and two Saturday -- to improve on his posted elapsed time before the race begins, although rain is forecasted for Friday.

"It's supposed to rain so that makes the first pass even more important if we get to a point where we lose a round or two," Coughlin said. "So we're definitely happy to be up near the top of the sheet."

-www.teamjegs.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin