Unlikely holeshot halts Coughlin's quest For the first time since the St. Louis race in 2003, a span of 33 national events, three-time NHRA champion Jeg Coughlin squandered a quicker elapsed time and lost a race due to a holeshot, deleting ...
Unlikely holeshot halts Coughlin's quest
For the first time since the St. Louis race in 2003, a span of 33 national events, three-time NHRA champion Jeg Coughlin squandered a quicker elapsed time and lost a race due to a holeshot, deleting his chances of winning a second title at historic Maple Grove Raceway in Reading Pa.
The usually lethal Coughlin, who is widely regarded as one of the best drivers in the class, posted a 6.709-second pass at 204.63 mph in Sunday's opening-round race against Allen Johnson, who ran a slower 6.731 at 204.32 mph. But due to Johnson's better .026 to .057-second reaction time edge, he took the win by .009 seconds.
"I'm not sure what happened up there but the end result is obvious, we lost the race," Coughlin said. "It's disappointing but this is a part of drag racing. I've been fortunate that this hasn't happened much to me in my career but it still doesn't feel that great. It just wasn't our day today so we'll have to regroup and try harder in Las Vegas."
Coughlin's first-round elapsed time was his best of the weekend by one hundredth of a second. His Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier went straight down the quarter-mile.
"The car was fine," Coughlin said. "The entire Jeg's Mail Order team would be commended. They worked hard and made the necessary changes to make sure we had a hot rod capable of winning the round and the race. We had the car today, unfortunately the driver didn't hold up his end of the bargain."
Coughlin will now head to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he shares the lead in his class for all-time wins with three, the same total as fellow two-time Pro Stock world champion Greg Anderson. His familiarity and previous success rate at the track has him excited about his chances to rack up another win in the desert.
"Despite today's outcome we still feel great about our Chevy and fully expect good things to happen in Las Vegas and Pomona for that matter," Coughlin said. "We continue to leave our marks across the top of the performance sheets and that is very encouraging. Maybe these two weeks off coming up will be just what we need to recharge and finish strong."