Steady Coughlin continues to go rounds Jeg Coughlin's dreams of a fourth Texas title were extinguished in the second round of eliminations at Houston Raceway Park. Coughlin bowed to reigning rookie of the year Jason Line by two hundredths of a...
Steady Coughlin continues to go rounds
Jeg Coughlin's dreams of a fourth Texas title were extinguished in the second round of eliminations at Houston Raceway Park. Coughlin bowed to reigning rookie of the year Jason Line by two hundredths of a second in the quarterfinal round of the 18th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals after upsetting veteran Kurt Johnson in the opening stanza.
"You always want to win; that's what we're out here for, but it's certainly hard to be disappointed with this weekend's effort," Coughlin said. "We made four great runs in qualifying and two more today. That's six in a row for this old Dodge so we really feel like we're making giant strides forward. You have to go rounds to stay in the chase and we went rounds this weekend, so we're pleased."
Coughlin's day started well as he removed Johnson's higher qualified car with a 6.755-second pass at 204.35 mph against Johnson's 6.773 at 204.23 mph. The three-time series champion never trailed in the race, leaving first with a .029- to .036-second reaction time and crossing every timer, including the top-end ones, ahead of Johnson.
In Round 2, Coughlin managed to sharpen his reaction time to a .021-second mark, but Line still beat him off the launch pad with a stunning .009-second start. The race was on at that point and the two stayed side-by-side all the way down the track. At the finish, it was Line turning on the win light with a 6.740 to Coughlin's 6.747.
"Jason had a great light and he made a great run," Coughlin said. "It's hard to beat a .008-second light. I would have had to have a perfect light (.000) to even have a chance and although that's possible, it's not probable. You just have to tip your hat to Jason and try to get him next time.
"We might try to squeeze in a test session this week so we're totally ready for the big weekend in Las Vegas. We want to get a win for this new team."
Coughlin's steady racing this weekend helped him move up two spots in the POWERade championship rankings into the eighth slot overall. He'll get his next chance at victory in just a few days as the tour quickly moves to Las Vegas April 14-17 for the first of two races at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.