Jeg ready to work hard for fourth Vegas win; Troy's 'rookie' season ends Jeg Coughlin will begin a quest for his fourth Las Vegas victory out of the No. 7 position after qualifying in the top half of the field of the fifth annual ACDelco Las...
Jeg ready to work hard for fourth Vegas win; Troy's 'rookie' season ends
Jeg Coughlin will begin a quest for his fourth Las Vegas victory out of the No. 7 position after qualifying in the top half of the field of the fifth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals with a 6.847-second pass at 201.40 mph. In Pro Mod, Troy Coughlin closed his first campaign on the AMS circuit with a Saturday-night loss to Frankie Taylor.
Using his Friday evening run as his elapsed time of record, Jeg didn't improve Saturday as temperatures crept ever higher in the desert just outside downtown Las Vegas. But he did show that he has one of the most consistent race cars on the property with a pair of strong 6.85-second runs in sessions' three and four.
"We talk about it all the time but having a consistent racecar is every bit as important as having a fast racecar," Jeg said. "This weekend we feel like we have both. Our car responded really well to all the changes we made to it in today's heat, which was very encouraging because it should be just like this tomorrow."
A three-time NHRA champion, Jeg will open eliminations against six-time Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson, the most prolific driver in class history. Johnson has struggled slightly here and ended up 10th on the qualifying sheet with a 6.859 at 201.43 mph. Jeg and W.J. have raced once this year with "the Professor" taking the win.
"He'll provide us a good test right from the start," Jeg said. "As we've all seen over the years, that is a team that makes very few mistakes so you have to be sharp. But we came here to win and we're going to tune this Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T up tonight and we'll be ready to rock in the morning."
After qualifying mid-pack with a 6.234 at 226.43 mph in his Jeg's Mail Order '67 Ford Mustang, Troy's rookie season on the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge series ended with a first-round loss to Frankie Taylor late Saturday afternoon. Troy's car was just too hopped up for a hotter-than-expected racetrack and his tires broke traction just off the launching pad.
It was a quiet ending to an otherwise outstanding first campaign for the veteran racer, who spent a decade in the Pro Stock ranks prior to 2005. He won the Englishtown, N.J., event and qualified in the top half of most fields this year, quickly proving himself to be a bonafide contender in the class.
"It's disappointing to end this way because we came here to win," Troy said. "But without question this year has been more than we could have ever imagined. I feel like I learned so much and I had a great time. We should end up seventh or so in the points, depending on what happens tomorrow, so we're very pleased.
"We just had her too hot against Frankie and once I started spinning the tires I knew we were done. I wanted to close the year on a high not and we are a little down right now but I know in a few days we'll look back on the season with pride.
"I do know the days ahead of us are going to get better and better. We've got big things in the works already and now that we know what we're doing we'll come into '06 as a contender right from the start."