Semis suit Jeg Coughlin MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 22): Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin recorded his third semifinal finish of the year during the 17th annual O'Reilly Mid-South NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Memphis Motorsports Park for one...
Semis suit Jeg Coughlin
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 22): Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin recorded his third semifinal finish of the year during the 17th annual O'Reilly Mid-South NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Memphis Motorsports Park for one of his most successful weekend's of the 2004 season. Coughlin took out two-time series champion Jim Yates and veteran Ron Krisher on the day, before succumbing to eventual race winner Jason Line in the third round by a hundredth-of-a-second margin-of-victory.
"It was a great day and a great weekend for the Jeg's Mail Order camp," Jeg said. "We certainly feel like we've made a lot of headway. We had another new motor out for this race and after a few shake-out runs we suddenly had a top car. We were one of the top two cars in each of the last four sessions."
Sunday started with Coughlin eliminating Yates with a 6.847-second pass at 201.07 mph, which easily eclipsed Yates' 6.885 at 199.11 mph. In the quarterfinals, Coughlin picked up the pace with an impressive 6.824 at 200.98 mph, placing him a sizable distance ahead of Krisher's 6.943 at 197.16 mph.
In the semifinals, Coughlin was mentally prepared for the tough challenge he faced and he managed to record his best reaction time of the day -- .028 seconds -- against Line. But the Rookie of the Year front-runner got to the finish line first, taking the stripe with a 6.827 at 200.74 mph in front of Coughlin's 6.838 at 201.22 mph.
"We slipped up in the semis and got a shade too aggressive with the car and the tune-up," Jeg explained. "Jason's a good driver with a good team and we knew we had to push the limit to have a favorable result. He got us this time and I congratulate him on his win."
Coughlin picked a great weekend to turn his recent misfortunes around as the prestigious 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, drag racing's biggest and longest running event, looms just a fortnight away. The Jeg's Mail Order driver will be competing in two different categories in Indianapolis -- Pro Stock and Super Stock.
"Everyone comes out swinging at Indy," commented Jeg. "This year will be the most intense U.S. Nationals ever because it's such a historic event and it's the 50th one. I'm really happy that this team is on such a positive up-tick."