Baytown: Coughlin's Saturday summary

One in, one out for Jeg's Mail Order team Three-time NHRA champ Jeg Coughlin will be the lone representative from the Jeg's Mail Order race team challenging for the title of the 18th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals. Coughlin successfully...

One in, one out for Jeg's Mail Order team

Three-time NHRA champ Jeg Coughlin will be the lone representative from the Jeg's Mail Order race team challenging for the title of the 18th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals. Coughlin successfully qualified his Dodge Stratus R/T for the event in the No. 10 position, while brother Troy failed to make the 16-car Pro Mod field.

Jeg, a three-time winner at Houston Raceway Park, will use Friday night's 6.733 at 204.94 mph as his run of record, but he was equally pleased with the pair of low 6.74s he posted in Saturday's heat down a sun-splashed racetrack.

"We made a lot of adjustments and to run two 6.74s today is stout," Jeg said. "What's encouraging is that we gained ground on the pack even though we didn't gain any position in the standings. If you look at our incremental numbers we are right near the top across the board. That has me very excited."

Jeg will open his quest for a fourth Houston trophy against Kurt Johnson, who qualified seventh overall with a 6.726 at 205.44 mph. As the higher-qualified car, Johnson will have lane choice in the race.

"Every racer in the field is capable of winning and every one of them represents a worthy adversary in my opinion," Jeg said. "You have to be prepared to beat anyone if you want to win the race so we'll push this Jeg's Mail Order Dodge to the limits of its capabilities and try our best to turn on four win lights tomorrow."

The growing pains continue for Pro Mod rookie Troy as he failed to qualify his Jeg's Mail Order '63 Ford Mustang for the event, his second in the class. Troy spun his tires a few hundred feet into his final qualifying attempt and could only manage a 6.916-second pass at 155.52 mph. The final bump spot ended up being a 6.304.

"It's all my fault," Troy said candidly. "I have an old habit from my Pro Stock days that I'm trying to beat but I just haven't been able to get over it yet. It's really frustrating because we have a top-half car that's capable of winning every race and we're not able to show it because of a mental hurdle I haven't cleared yet.

"In a Pro Stock car you rest your foot on the clutch pedal as you go down the track so that you're ready to push it in when you finish the run. If you do that in a Pro Mod car and apply any pressure at all on the clutch pedal you totally zing the motor. I don't know if it's the thicker fire boots or what but evidentially I'm putting too much pressure on the pedal. It's something I need to correct before we can challenge at any of these races."

Troy won't have long to wait as the Pro Mods are back in just a few days at the sixth annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals in Las Vegas. Resources are available for your use at www.teamjegs.com

-jegs-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Kurt Johnson