St. Louis: Jeg Coughlin Jr Saturday notes

Coughlin qualifies for 70th straight race ST. LOUIS (May 3) -- Just as he predicted Friday night, three-time and reigning POWERade champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. and the rest of the naturally-aspirated Pro Stock set saw dramatic improvements ...

Coughlin qualifies for 70th straight race

ST. LOUIS (May 3) -- Just as he predicted Friday night, three-time and reigning POWERade champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. and the rest of the naturally-aspirated Pro Stock set saw dramatic improvements in performance Saturday at Gateway International Raceway as an overnight cooling trend pushed temperatures into the 50s.

Fortunately for the 52-time national event winner, who won this race in 2002, Coughlin was able to keep pace with everyone else, qualifying in the No. 4 position in the field with a 6.597-second pass at 207.40 mph in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt.

"It was a good day of racing," Coughlin said. "We started today with a 6.60 and were pretty pleased with that but we thought we had about three hundredth (of a second) more in it so we tuned for that. The conditions took away about one hundredth by the time we got up there for Q4 so we aimed for a 6.58.

"In the end, we probably left a little bit out there and wound up with a nice 6.59, so we locked up the No. 4 spot and we'll turn around and get ready for race day."

Coughlin will open eliminations against No. 13 qualifier Jim Yates, who posted a top lap of 6.634 seconds at 206.13 mph. As the higher qualified car, Coughlin will pick his lane against two-time world champ Yates. The two men have not raced each other this year but Coughlin won all three of their head-to-head matches in 2007.

"Jim's a two-time champ so he'll be ready for us, without a doubt," Coughlin said. "It's good to have lane choice, for sure, although I don't think it's too much of a difference between the left and the right side.

"The bottom line is we've had five different winners in the first six races so anyone that's in the field has a chance to win it. We'll need to stay consistent and quick to advance each round. We're aiming for another victory ourselves so it'll be an interesting day.'

Eliminations are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. with Pro Stock penciled in for a noon start.

-credit: team jegs

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin