Las Vegas II: Jeg Coughlin preview

Jeg Coughlin by the numbers The POWERade Drag Racing Series arrives at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the fourth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, the penultimate race on the 23-event season. Although this year's Pro ...

Jeg Coughlin by the numbers

The POWERade Drag Racing Series arrives at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the fourth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, the penultimate race on the 23-event season. Although this year's Pro Stock championship has already been decided, Jeg Coughlin, the driver of the Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier, says there is plenty of unfinished business on his docket.

So in this city that lives and dies by numbers, here are the digits that define one of the sport's most decorated drivers of all-time.

1 -- Final position in the world ranking achieved by Coughlin on three separate occasions, twice in Pro Stock in 2000 and 2002, and once in Super Gas in 1992.

2 -- Races left in the 2004 season, giving Coughlin two more chances to collect his first victory of the year.

3 -- Number of times Coughlin has won at The Strip, claiming victory in '00, '01, and '02.

4 -- Different categories won by Coughlin in 1997 -- Pro Stock, Super Stock, Comp, and Super Gas -- an NHRA first.

5 -- The lowest ranking in the POWERade points Coughlin, who is currently in seventh place, has ever held at the end of a season.

7 -- Current number of professional campaigns in which Coughlin has won at least one national event, a run which is currently in jeopardy.

8 -- Top-five qualifying efforts this year.

10 -- All-time NHRA career ranking in number of overall national event wins. Coughlin, who is just 34, already has won 45 races.

15 -- Number of consecutive years, including 2004, in which Coughlin has won a major drag race. At this year's U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Coughlin won the prestigious Super Stock Hemi Challenge.

50 -- Final-round showings in just 161 starts.

61 -- Current streak of races with Coughlin ranked in the POWERade top 10.

62 -- Elimination-round wins Coughlin amassed in 2000, the same year he won 10 of 23 national events on the schedule.

"It's fun to examine the numbers and see where our group lines up with others, but right now this entire Jeg's Mail Order team is really focused on just one number -- four," Coughlin said. "Because that's how many rounds we need to go on Sunday to win.

"We're very optimistic. Of course, we've done well here in the past and that's always a nice thing, but we're also coming into this race with the baddest piece our engine program has ever produced, bar-none. That's really exciting.

"Typically, this track is better than the conditions. It stays shaded most of the time and the low humidity and cooler temperatures we see in the afternoon and evening this time of year are conducive to quick times. The track's at altitude so the cars don't make as much power, which in turn allows you to be very aggressive with the tune-up. The window for error tends to be a little bigger.

"We don't want to beat ourselves, which when you look back over our history is probably the single biggest reason we point to when we don't win. If we can get off on the right foot and maintain it, not make any big mistakes, this could be the weekend we score national event win No. 34, which is another big number we have our eye on."

-www.teamjegs.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin