Joliet II: Jeg Coughlin Saturday summary

Jeg Coughlin is a big part of record field Making history once again, 45-time national event winner Jeg Coughlin has successfully qualified his Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier in the middle of the quickest Pro Stock field ever assembled ...

Jeg Coughlin is a big part of record field

Making history once again, 45-time national event winner Jeg Coughlin has successfully qualified his Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier in the middle of the quickest Pro Stock field ever assembled Saturday at Route 66 Raceway in Chicago. Coughlin used a stunning career-best pass of 6.685 seconds at 206.23 mph to become part of a group where every driver in the elimination field managed to run their quickest pass ever.

The impressive run by the yellow-and-black team left Coughlin in ninth place in the field, meaning he'll race eighth-place qualifier Ken Koretsky in Sunday's first round of sudden-death eliminations. Koretsky's best pass was one-thousandth of a second better than Coughlin's run of record.

"It might have been our best run ever but to be honest we've been struggling a little bit all weekend," Coughlin said. "There's some kind of problem plaguing us either electronically or maybe somewhere in the fuel system. The car's not real happy when we reach the higher acceleration points.

"We're going to comb through this thing and figure out what's wrong. I know we'll get it sorted out in time for the first round and we'll go out there and race for the win."

This record field featured the quickest and fastest runs ever in the class. New champion Greg Anderson posted a 6.661-second elapsed time in the last round and a 207.75-mph pass in the first, resetting both of Anderson's established records for the class. Three years ago, in between his two Pro Stock title runs, Coughlin was the quickest Pro Stocker in the world when he shocked the world with a 6.750-second run.

"We've been in Greg's shoes before and, at least in the last several races, we've been running neck-in-neck with him," Coughlin said. "The key now is maintaining the momentum we've gained since Memphis. I know we would have been right there with him today had we not picked up a few gremlins. The key now is to eliminate our problems and get after it tomorrow."

Coughlin opened the day with what was then his career-best pass -- a 6.703-second run at 206.89 mph, which placed him ninth in the provisional field. The run wasn't exceptionally pretty as he swerved towards the centerline at the launch, but the 34-year-old three-time champion straightened his car out in time to improve his previous career-best marks of 6.711 seconds at 205.51 mph.

"We were just too aggressive again down low," Coughlin said of the first pass. "The track had a lot of bite but we probably went for a bit too much. Fortunately, I was able to save the pass and set both of my personal best numbers. That was exciting."

Sunday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m. CST.

-jegs-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Greg Anderson