Coughlins open strong in steamy Chicago Jeg Coughlin has the quickest Mopar at Route 66 Raceway as the eighth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals finally completed a long first day of professional qualifying that was interrupted several ...
Coughlins open strong in steamy Chicago
Jeg Coughlin has the quickest Mopar at Route 66 Raceway as the eighth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals finally completed a long first day of professional qualifying that was interrupted several times by brief sun showers. Coughlin leads a six-car contingent of Dodge Stratus R/Ts in attendance with a steady 6.799 at 201.82 mph, the seventh best overall.
Jeg's brother Troy lost a qualifying round to rain in his Pro Mod Mustang but still holds down the No. 9 position in the field. Both men will get a chance to improve Saturday morning when time trails resume.
Jeg managed to improve in the day's second round despite the increased humidity at the track, a result of sunshine steaming up the asphalt after an afternoon rain shower. After opening the day with a 6.818-second run at 202.21 mph, Coughlin and crew chief Bob Glidden were able to knock two-hundredths of a second off their elapsed time.
It was a good time for Jeg to come to life in his Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T as he'll continue qualifying while simultaneously racing in the 21st annual King Demon Crown Saturday. Jeg's first-round foe in the King Demon Crown is Larry Morgan, who struggled somewhat Friday and qualified 16th with a 6.821-second pass at 201.10 mph.
"We were able to improve and that's always encouraging," Coughlin said. "I still believe there's a lot left in old yeller. We'll probably need it because we already have to switch to race mode and get after that big bag of money in the King Demon Crown race.
"Larry might have slipped a bit today but he's qualified higher than us for the King Demon Crown and that's a credit to the work he's done over the last year. He'll be ready to race; you can count on that. I'm excited and ready to get after it. We've won that deal twice before and it would be great to do it again."
Troy is safely in the Pro Mod field in ninth place after making just one run Friday due to numerous rain delays. He'll get one more qualifying run Saturday morning before eliminations begin Saturday afternoon.
Although Troy lost a round to rain, he wasn't too concerned as he already had posted a 6.419 at 220.14 mph to put his Jeg's Mail Order Ford Mustang comfortably in the middle of the Pro Mod pack in ninth place.
Losing a qualifying round is never a good thing for tuners as they have one less chance to work on a race day set-up. In Pro Mod, that thought is amplified as the class only has three time trails on the schedule rather than the standard four the regular Pro categories get. Now Troy and crew will have to prepare for battle with just two runs worth of data.
"The guys had a new super charger on there and we didn't get a chance to test it so they wanted to play it safe the first time out," Troy said. "Of course, we thought tonight's session would be the one to go for a big number but we lost it so all we've got so far is a 6.41 that was nice and safe.
"I'm confident we'll be much quicker the next time out so we'll just get after it in the morning and try our best to move up the ladder and start eliminations with any sort of advantage we can gain. It was exciting for me just to get behind the wheel because the last Pro Mod race was five week ago. I was anxious to run my hot rod down the track."