Thirty-eight drivers spent the last two days fighting for a spot among the sixteen available qualifying positions. The familiar yellow and black JEG'S Mail Order colors took up two of the sixteen available spots, Mike Coughlin in the number...
Thirty-eight drivers spent the last two days fighting for a spot among the sixteen available qualifying positions. The familiar yellow and black JEG'S Mail Order colors took up two of the sixteen available spots, Mike Coughlin in the number five position and John Coughlin in the number eight slot.
The Pro Stock Truck class began eliminations today by running the first and second rounds of competition. The semifinal and final rounds will be run tomorrow with the rest of the professional classes.
With only one other race remaining in the '99 NHRA season for the Pro Stock Truck drivers and teams are running out of time. Mike Coughlin came into the O'Reilly Fall Nationals sitting in the number four spot in the NHRA Winston points. '99 NHRA "Rookie of the Year" front-runner John Coughlin began the race resting in the number eleven position ready to make a leap into the top ten. John trailed Jerry Haas by 55 points coming into this race, Haas failed to qualify which opened a window of opportunity for the talented "rookie."
In the first round John went head-to-head against Tim Freeman, Coughlin had lane choice and took the left lane. This match-up was the first to take to the quarter mile battle field, which is a position that team try to avoid. No one wants to be the first down the track.
The #31 yellow and black JEG'S Mail Order Chevy S-10 pulled up to the starting line slowly. Tim Freeman takes the advantage off of the starting line and both Chevy S-10's race side-by-side toward the finishline. The win light came on for Tim Freeman. Coughlin picked up 23 points over Jerry Haas, which gets him within striking distance for the final race of the season in Pomona.
John said, "The guys gave me a car that should have won. We will roll into the next race in Pomona ready to win as a team."
Mike Coughlin faced off against '98 Pro Stock Truck Champion Larry Kopp in round one, the JEG'S machine had lane choice and stuffed Kopp in the left lane. Coughlin leaves the starting line first along with Kopp's chances of winning this match-up. Mike and the JEG'S machine never looked back and advanced to the second round.
Mike noted, "I was ready for this race last night after we got done qualifying. The truck is running very predictably and the guys are making the right calls in the clutch."
In the second round Mike Coughlin lined up next to Vinny Barone, Barone had lane choice and took the left lane. The two Jerry Haas built Chevy S-10's pulled up to the starting line together. Coughlin grabbed the reaction time advantage off of the starting line. Mike was out in front of Vinny Barone when he put the truck into second gear. The transmission broke and Mike coasted to the finishline, he was forced to watch his lead slip away and the win light come on in the other lane.
Mike said, "It's too bad that we broke. We were out in front and we were running well enough to advance to the next round, it was just one of those weird things that can happen." Mike will focus on the final race in Pomona, which is three weeks away.