Coughlin cruises into comfortable spot Two-time Brainerd champion Jeg Coughlin returned to Minnesota with a pair of consistent qualifying passes in his Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier, which left him mid-pack in the field of the 23rd annual...
Coughlin cruises into comfortable spot
Two-time Brainerd champion Jeg Coughlin returned to Minnesota with a pair of consistent qualifying passes in his Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier, which left him mid-pack in the field of the 23rd annual Lucas Oil Nationals. Coughlin opened with a 6.798-second blast at 202.97 mph and followed that up with a steady 6.796 at 202.79 mph in the early evening hours to lock up the No. 8 position in the 16-car field.
"Day 1 went pretty well for Team Jeg's," Coughlin said. "We came out strong and were No. 5 after the first round, which had us all very pleased. We had a fresh engine in there and it responded.
"The second round I was hoping for a big improvement because the conditions were better. We did improve but not as much as I expected. What happened was this new engine really woke up and showed us some horsepower in Round 2 and we ended up slipping the clutch more than we'd like through all five gears. Still, to do that and run a 6.79 anyway is very encouraging."
Both of Coughlin's passes, along with many others, were considerably quicker and faster then the existing track records of 6.857 and 201.01 mph. A new track surface was installed here prior to last year's event and a year of seasoning seems to have helped.
Each competitor in the Pro Stock class will now get two more chances to improve on their previously posted elapsed times Saturday. The weather forecast calls for moderate temperatures throughout the day; raising hopes that better numbers can be posted.
"Our first session tomorrow is slated for 10 a.m. so that will probably be the round to get after it," Coughlin said. "We're already thinking about a 6.74 or a 6.75 as being the number we'd like to target. That will back-up our efforts from today real well."
Coughlin, 34, in no stranger to big weekends in the North woods having recorded victories at Brainerd International Raceway in 2002 and 1999. His 2002 triumph over Greg Anderson, which he accomplished from the No. 15 qualifying position, set the wheels in motion for his second Pro Stock championship and third overall NHRA title.