Jeg scores runner-up finish in Hemi Shootout; Pro qualifying begins Jeg Coughlin came within eight-hundreds of a second of defending his title at the prestigious Mopar Hemi Super Stock Challenge in Indianapolis. The two-time Pro Stock champion...
Jeg scores runner-up finish in Hemi Shootout; Pro qualifying begins
Jeg Coughlin came within eight-hundreds of a second of defending his title at the prestigious Mopar Hemi Super Stock Challenge in Indianapolis. The two-time Pro Stock champion had a fast racecar and a tough opponent in the final round, but he negated any chance of winning another title for team owner Michael Ogburn and crew chief/engine builder Harry Holton when he left the starting line prematurely.
"I never got real comfortable on the tree all day," Jeg said. "I knew I needed to tighten it up in the quarters and I had an .002, which was cutting it too close. Then you think about staying quick but not being too quick and you start thinking about it too much.
"I'm not disappointed but I am bummed we didn't get it done. If I'm honored enough to get another chance at driving this car next year I hope we can find time to test a little bit so I get comfortable in there."
Coughlin raced past four of the best Super Stock A-Automatic cars in the country to reach his second consecutive final round. He proved on the day that his West Coast Hemi's Barracuda could match the hot rod of final-round foe Charlie Westcott Jr., but he also knew that Westcott had been the class of qualifying, which was weighing on his mind when he pulled to the starting line.
"I knew he could run fast, no doubt," Jeg said. "As it turns out he out-performed us by eight thousandths any way so with the light he had there was no way we would have won the race even if I wasn't red. We had a great time and I congratulate Charlie for his win. I had a blast."
Jeg and his brother Troy were also involved in the first round of professional qualifying for the 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. Jeg ended the day in eighth place after a best of 6.752 at 203.71 mph in his Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T, while Troy was forced to abort his run and failed to post a competitive time in his '67 Shelby Mustang.
"We were a tad too aggressive with the tune-up and it just shook the tires like crazy right off the line," Troy said. "The great thing about Indy is we all have one extra qualifying session so I felt there was no reason to get back on it just to get down the track. We have a very fast racecar and I'm confident we'll get in tomorrow."
"That's a good mid-pack opening run for us," Jeg said. "I knew Bob would get after it because it's Friday night in Indy. You can't be light on the clutch this round. The tune-up held and we're eighth so we have a baseline to work with. We'll keep improving each round and hopefully we stay in the top half for the race."