Coughlin slides into sixth slot at rain-shortened Phoenix race PHOENIX (Feb. 23) -- With only two qualifying sessions to make the field of the 24th annual CSK NHRA Nationals after losing both of Friday's runs to rain, current NHRA POWERade Pro...
Coughlin slides into sixth slot at rain-shortened Phoenix race
PHOENIX (Feb. 23) -- With only two qualifying sessions to make the field of the 24th annual CSK NHRA Nationals after losing both of Friday's runs to rain, current NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. posted a pair of steady 6.65-second passes Saturday afternoon to qualify sixth for Sunday's eliminations.
"We're happy to be in the show and we're really happy to be in the top half of the field because the right lane looks to be considerably better than the left," Coughlin said. "As a driver, you always want more passes to get the seat time but when you have a race that gets shortened by rain it causes fits for the tuners. My hat's off to [crew chief] Roy Simmons and the guys because it wasn't an easy day for them."
Coughlin opened with a 6.650 at 207.18 mph down Firebird International Raceway in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt and backed that up with a 6.656 at 207.72 mph in Round 2 to solidify his spot in the field. He'll open Sunday's race with lane choice over good friend Justin Humphreys, who qualified 11th with a 6.674 at 207.50 mph.
"We probably should have been much more aggressive with the tune-up there but, as I mentioned, when you only have two chances to punch it in there you have to be cautious," Coughlin said. "The primary goal is always making the top-16 and we needed to be sensible."
Currently second in the POWERade point standings after a runner-up finish at the season-opener in Pomona, Calif., two weeks ago, Coughlin has raced to two wins in four final-round appearances in the last four races he's entered, including the prestigious Pontiac Showdown preseason test and the final two races of last season.
"We definitely have the car to keep that streak alive," Coughlin said. "We had the good lane in Round 2 and just didn't get after it like we could have. We won't make that mistake tomorrow. As we saw last year, it's important to keep the pressure on our rivals in the points standings, even early in the year, so we need to make the most out of each and every race."
Saturday was a special day for Coughlin as he entertained the band O.A.R., aka "of a revolution," prior to the band's departure to Australia for a concert tour.
"They hadn't been to a drag race before so it was great fun showing them out sport," the 51-time national event winner said. "We were happy to have them with us."
-credit: team jegs