* COUGHLIN DOMINANCE: Jeg Coughlin, driver of the Jeg's Mail Order Oldsmobile Cutlass, has dominated Pro Stock competition this season with six victories in seven races. It is the first time a driver in that category has got off to such a...
* COUGHLIN DOMINANCE: Jeg Coughlin, driver of the Jeg's Mail Order Oldsmobile Cutlass, has dominated Pro Stock competition this season with six victories in seven races. It is the first time a driver in that category has got off to such a successful start since 1980, when the late Lee Shepherd won six of the first seven to open the season.
Coughlin, who finished second in the Winston point standings during the last two seasons, could be approaching his first championship. However, he knows that he must stay consistent to do it. Despite Shepherd's winning ways in 1980, he didn't win the Winston Pro Stock championship that year - Bob Glidden did. It wasn't until 1981 that Shepherd claimed the first of four consecutive Winston Pro Stock championships.
"Our team is filled with dedicated, knowledgeable and talented people who are all working toward the same goal of winning," said Coughlin, 29, from Columbus, Ohio, a driver who has earned NHRA victories in four different categories, including Competition, Super Stock and Super Gas in addition to Pro Stock. "We have implemented a maintenance program that has kept us from beating ourselves."
* JOHNSON LOOKS TO GET BACK ON TRACK: Five-time NHRA Winston Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson is struggling of late, trying to find the right combination to put his GM Goodwrench Pontiac Firebird back in the winner's circle. In consecutive races in Richmond, Va. and Atlanta - Johnson's home track - the 56-year-old driver suffered first round losses.
"We're still searching for a consistent combination," said Johnson, the defending Pro Stock winner at Route 66 Raceway, who has 80 career victories. "I think we're on to something. We won't know for sure until we run it at a number of tracks and see what the results are."
Prior to the event in Englishtown, N.J., Johnson trailed Coughlin by 289 points. If Johnson is to win his sixth Winston crown and make a run at Bob Glidden's all-time win mark of 85, he'll need to post a serious late season charge.
"It's just going to make it interesting at the end of the year," said Johnson, who's only victory this season came at Gainesville, Fla.