Reading: Jeg Coughlin Friday summary

Jeg Coughlin bent on improving his spot A promising day for former Reading champion Jeg Coughlin ended in frustration as the three-time world champion reached the halfway point of qualifying on the "bump" spot of the Pro Stock field. Coughlin...

Jeg Coughlin bent on improving his spot

A promising day for former Reading champion Jeg Coughlin ended in frustration as the three-time world champion reached the halfway point of qualifying on the "bump" spot of the Pro Stock field. Coughlin remains optimistic, however, as local forecasters point to optimal racing conditions for Saturday's final two rounds of time trails at the 20th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.

Friday started with Coughlin posting a 6.774-second elapsed time at 205.32 mph, the second fastest run of the session. But when Coughlin attempted to improve on that mark in the afternoon, he found himself fighting just to keep his Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier on the proper side of the racetrack.

"I had my hands full that time," said Coughlin, who won this race in 1999. "I was struggling with the car all the way down the racetrack.

"We had the second best speed of the early session so we thought if we could just clean it up a little and get it to accelerate better down low that we'd be able to put a low 6.70 or even a high 6.60 on the scoreboards. But when I launched the car picked the front end up very high and it ended up going towards the centerline. From the 60-foot marker to the parachute pits, I was fighting like crazy just to keep it straight."

Out of the groove for most of the run, Coughlin ended with a 6.782-second pass at 203.46 mph, which allowed several people to jump over him on the qualifying ladder.

"I think we'll be okay," Coughlin said. "If the weather comes through like they say it's going to then we'll have 6.6-second conditions all day. We'll need to be on our best behavior and eliminate our mistakes, but I'm predicting a great day of racing."

Saturday's qualifying sessions are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

-www.teamjegs.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin