Sonoma: Jeg Coughlin Saturday summary

Jeg Coughlin has work cut out for him Former Sonoma winner Jeg Coughlin and his Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T race team managed to find just one-thousandths of a second worth of improvement in Saturday's heat at Infineon Raceway.

Jeg Coughlin has work cut out for him

Former Sonoma winner Jeg Coughlin and his Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T race team managed to find just one-thousandths of a second worth of improvement in Saturday's heat at Infineon Raceway. Unfortunately, a handful of other racers managed to improve a little bit more, knocking Coughlin down to the No. 10 position overall in the elimination field of the 18th annual Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals.

A winner here in 2003, the two-time Pro Stock champion posted a 6.714-second pass at 205.07 mph in Round 3 to successfully qualify for his 29th consecutive national event. He followed that up with a 6.784-second pass in the afternoon.

"Today's morning session was the best of qualifying," Coughlin said. "We knew that coming in and we tried our best to capitalize on it. As it turns out we were just too aggressive and the track didn't like what we were trying to do with our tune-up. The two things didn't gel very well and we weren't able to jump up in the standings."

Coughlin will open against back-to-back series champion Greg Anderson, won qualified seventh with a 6.693 at a track record top speed of 206.95 mph. Anderson and Coughlin have raced six times this year with Anderson holding a 4-2 advantage.

"We've got our work cut out for us tonight," Coughlin said. "We've got to figure out a better gameplan for tomorrow. My gameplan is always the same as far as how I prepare for what I need to do in the racecar. I have faith that there's a card in Bob's [Glidden, crew chief] deck that'll wake this car up and get us down the track with a winning time."

"Greg's been a very formidable opponent for us over the last few years but they're all tough in this class. We certainly will need to be on top of our situation if we hope to beat him. It's always tough to race the champ."

Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. Sunday.

NHRA on TV:

Sunday, July 31 ESPN2 will televise NHRA2Day, a 30-minute weekly news magazine style show at 11:30 a.m. (ET) Sunday, July 31 ESPN2 will air final eliminations for three-hours beginning at 9:00 p.m. (ET)

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Greg Anderson