Gainesville: Jeg Coughlin Friday summary

Jeg in the mix, but wants to improve, as Troy chills Considering a double national record was set during the opening two rounds of qualifying action at the 36th annual NHRA Gatornationals, Jeg Coughlin found it hard to get super excited about...

Jeg in the mix, but wants to improve, as Troy chills

Considering a double national record was set during the opening two rounds of qualifying action at the 36th annual NHRA Gatornationals, Jeg Coughlin found it hard to get super excited about just earning a spot in the provisional field of one of the quickest Pro Stock groupings ever assembled. But when he thinks about the potential of his Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T and the fact two rounds of time trails remain, the three-time NHRA champion suddenly breaks into a smile.

Coughlin, 34, checked in with a 6.727-second run at 204.68 mph during the opening day of this historic race, which he won outright in 2001. The mark placed him 13th on the ladder and leaves plenty of room for improvement as the top qualifier penned his name in the record book with a 6.633 at 208.23 mph. Always optimistic, Coughlin sees the new national record as a clear and reachable indicator of what his team can run if everything goes right.

"The weather and track conditions we're encountering here certainly exceed what we expected," Coughlin said. "Gainesville can be good and it has been in the past but when you get the cloud cover and cool temperatures like today it can be a mineshaft.

"We were pretty pleased with our first run (the 6.727) and with that baseline information we tuned the car to go quicker in Round 2. The problem was the second round was supposed to happen at 2:30 in the afternoon but the schedule got so far behind that we ended up running at night. Plain and simple, we got too greedy and too aggressive.

"The exciting thing is that we saw some awesome runs out there and the weatherman is saying tomorrow will be pretty much exactly like today was so we'll just go to work and find the middle ground of what we can get away with and go for it."

Friday's brutally slow schedule of events wreaked havoc on the Pro Mod category and Troy Coughlin's AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge debut. Originally scheduled to run his opening round of qualifying at 4:30 p.m., Troy instead had to deal with an 8:30 start under the lights of a too-cool Gainesville Raceway. Like most drivers in the class, Troy couldn't find any traction and aborted his run just a few feet into the run.

"The bad news is we didn't make a pass," Troy said. "The good news is hardly any one else did either. You have to deal with what you've got so there no reason to be upset. We'll just have to make sure we're totally prepared for tomorrow so we can get this Jeg's Mail Order Mustang in the field."

Saturday's final two time trails are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

-jeg's-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin