Coughlin cashes in during cool night session Jeg's Mail Order racer Jeg Coughlin took full advantage of a late start to Friday's second session of professional qualifying at the 18th annual Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals to blast to a top-half...
Coughlin cashes in during cool night session
Jeg's Mail Order racer Jeg Coughlin took full advantage of a late start to Friday's second session of professional qualifying at the 18th annual Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals to blast to a top-half berth in the 16-car Pro Stock field. After opening with a 6.747-second pass at 204.70 mph in the first round, Coughlin improved quite a bit when the sun went down, running a 6.715 at 204.32 mph to earn the eighth spot overall.
"We were real aggressive because it was literally getting better by the minute once the sun set," Coughlin said. "It's so exciting for a driver when you have sessions like that when you know the car's going to fly. It adds some pressure because you don't want to mess up, but it's quite a ride inside the car because you know you're going fast."
"The Jeg's Dodge did get out of the groove just a bit and I had to coax her back in there so we could have been even quicker. Still, no complaints here. We're happy."
The second round started more than 40 minutes late due to an earlier accident in Top Alcohol Dragster. This allowed the sun to drop behind the eastern grandstands, which are topped by luxury suites, and the track cooled down quickly. The sea-level racetrack then came to life with the top qualifier in the class setting a track record of 6.689 seconds.
"We're getting closer and closer to the top cars each race," Coughlin said. "Bob Glidden [crew chief] has been so focused. We'll probably need to improve in the morning to a high 6.6-second pass just to stay in the top half of the field. I'd bet the No. 1 qualifier will run a 6.65, so hopefully Bob will have us right there in the mix."
Qualifying will resume Saturday with an early-morning session that could completely reshuffle the field. Located at the top of San Francisco Bay, Infineon Raceway is usually blanketed in sea fog during the morning hours, making for optimum racing conditions.
NHRA on TV: Saturday, July 30 ESPN2 will televise two-hours of qualifying at 8:00 p.m. (ET) Sunday, July 31 ESPN2 will televise NHRA2Day, a 30-minute weekly news magazine style show at 11:30 a.m. (ET) Sunday, July 31 ESPN2 will air final eliminations for three-hours beginning at 9:00 p.m. (ET)