Coughlin's Chevrolet rockets to Pomona ET Record. KJ's Cavalier establishes a new speed mark. POMONA, Calif., Feb. 7, 2003 - Current Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. drove his yellow and black Chevy Cavalier to a Pomona Raceway ...
Coughlin's Chevrolet rockets to Pomona ET Record.
KJ's Cavalier establishes a new speed mark.
POMONA, Calif., Feb. 7, 2003 - Current Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. drove his yellow and black Chevy Cavalier to a Pomona Raceway track-record elapsed time of 6.790 seconds to take the No. 1 qualifying spot away from brother Troy during the second day of time trials at the 43rd annual NHRA Winternationals. Ironically, the 32-year-old Coughlin, who dominated the second half of last year's NHRA campaign with eight national-event victories, failed to qualify for this event in 2002.
"The primary goal of our Jeg's team is to get both Chevy Cavaliers running better this season," said Coughlin. "We struggled with Troy's (Coughlin) car on many occasions last year and so far we've been able to take that pressure off. We have a new Cavalier with just 10 runs on it and yesterday we were just too aggressive with our setup. We've been fighting a little bug in the car but we were able to get that cleaned up yesterday. With even better conditions predicted for tomorrow, and the 11 a.m. starting time, I think we'll see even better runs tomorrow.
"We were able to learn off of Troy's tune up and apply that to my car. We're trying to use all of our resources. This race series, this category, has created a zero tolerance environment and to get two of these cars in the top 16 of the field will be a major accomplishment." If Coughlin can maintain his current position, it will mark the seventh time the two-time NHRA champion resident has captured a race-day pole position. The last time Coughlin earned the top starting spot was at the 2001 Fram/Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Calif.
"Being in the field in the front with a 6.790 obviously feels just great," said Coughlin. "That looks like it will stay in the show, but with what the weather man is predicting for tomorrow, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see an all 6.70 field."
Mark Osborne has the quickest Pontiac SC/T Grand Am in the field currently in the No. 2 starting position. Osborne eclipsed the Pomona quarter-mile in 6.796 seconds at a speed of 202.58 mph. Kurt Johnson's ACDelco Chevy Cavalier is qualified in the No. 4 spot with a 6.805 elapsed time at a track-record top speed of 203.74 mph.
"The car did something funny on the starting line and I think that's where we lost a little bit of e.t.," said Johnson. "We're happy with the 6.80, but the standard is 6.79 so we're going to have to keep digging. It's going to get tough tomorrow and I'm expecting my e.t. right now to be the bump tomorrow with a 6.77 to be on top. Hey, we were 10th after the first run, fourth after this session. We move up another six spots and we'll do something no else has done before.
"This is definitely a left-lane, right-lane deal. The five quickest times were in the left lane, so if we can slide over there in the morning and make a few adjustments, this ACDelco Chevy Cavalier is going to haul the mail."
Ron Krisher is qualified in the No. 5 spot in a Cavalier, Greg Anderson is sixth in a Grand Am, Troy Coughlin falls to seventh in a Cavalier and Terry Adams is eighth in a Grand Am. Jim Yates is on the bubble with a 6.830 e.t. at 201.91 mph. The field is currently separated by just .04 of a second with 14 of the current 16 drivers in GM-branded racecars.
In Funny Car, Tim Wilkerson continued to pace the field in a Pontiac Firebird with last night's track-record elapsed time of 4.759 seconds.
Qualifying highlights for the Winternationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, Feb. 8, beginning at 10 p.m. Eastern. Final eliminations will be telecast on ESPN2 on Sunday, Feb. 9, starting at 6:30 p.m.