Jeg Coughlin nipped at finish line in Round 1 Jeg Coughlin knew he needed his best run of the weekend to beat six-time Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson in the opening round of the 21st annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals and his Jeg's Mail Order...
Jeg Coughlin nipped at finish line in Round 1
Jeg Coughlin knew he needed his best run of the weekend to beat six-time Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson in the opening round of the 21st annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals and his Jeg's Mail Order team delivered, tuning his Dodge Stratus R/T to a 6.734-second run at 205.10 mph. He also knew he'd need to beat W.J. off the starting line and once again he came through with a quick .019-second start to Johnson's sluggish .056-second reaction time.
But despite the efforts of his team and his own superb driving, Coughlin came up 16 inches short of victory as Johnson was able to catch and pass Coughlin for a miniscule four-thousandths of a second victory. The official numbers had Johnson logging his best run of the weekend, a 6.693 at 205.41 mph to Coughlin's 6.734 at 205.10 mph.
"I can never figure out if losing by such a small margin is better or worse than just flat-out getting beat," Coughlin said. "It's frustrating either way and it's certainly not the result we expect or desire. But we certainly gave it our all this morning. We just came up short and the end result is we're going home early.
"There are four races left until the close of the season and we want to do everything we can to finish the year strong. The loyal Jeg's fans out there have never stopped supporting me and my brothers and we want to give them something to be happy about. It's been a struggle for us but we will not give up."
Up next for the three-time NHRA champion is the 20th anniversary O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec at the Texas Motorplex. Coughlin has three final-round showings at the Dallas-area track, including a win over Gene Wilson in 2002, his last championship season.