Memphis: Jeg Coughlin Saturday summary

Last-gasp power play pushes Jeg Coughlin to No. 2 perch MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 21): A super-quick final round of professional time trails at Memphis Motorsports Park ended with Pro Stock racer Jeg Coughlin rocketing all the way up to the No. 2...

Last-gasp power play pushes Jeg Coughlin to No. 2 perch

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 21): A super-quick final round of professional time trails at Memphis Motorsports Park ended with Pro Stock racer Jeg Coughlin rocketing all the way up to the No. 2 spot in the final elimination field. Coughlin drove through a flawless 6.787-second pass at 201.64 mph to secure the position.

Coughlin's heroics at the same track where he earned the top position one year ago place him in a first-round showdown fellow two-time series champion Jim Yates, against whom he has a 2-1 record this year. Yates finished as the 15th qualifier with a best lap of 6.826 seconds at 201.01 mph.

"This day went much better for us," Coughlin said. "We've been climbing ourselves out of a little rut we've been in lately and it feels good to put up numbers like that. The final pass was nice and straight. We hit the clutch set-up right and we had it tuned perfectly to take advantage of the conditions."

Most NHRA races have just one night session but, in an effort to combat the usual heat and humidity in this part of the country, officials moved most of the action of this weekend's 17th annual O'Reilly Mid-South NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil into the cooler evening hours, allowing Coughlin to make his big move Saturday evening.

The 34-year-old Coughlin managed to improve in each of the four qualifying sessions. After opening with a 6.893-second run, he posted a 6.842, a 6.826, and ultimately the 6.787. The extra effort by the Jeg's Mail Order team helped move their man into one of the favored positions on the elimination ladder.

"This is our best qualifying result of the year," said Coughlin, a 45-time national event winner. "Hopefully we can take this enthusiasm and momentum and make something happen tomorrow."

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

-www.teamjegs.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin