During NHRA's inaugural 4-Wide Nationals, held this past weekend at Zmax Dragway just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, Jeg Coughlin laid down the third quickest pass in NHRA Pro Stock history to mark the end of a stranglehold current class champ Mike Edwards had held on the number one qualifying spot for the last twelve events.
Jeg Coughlin has won the K&N Horsepower Challenge three times already in seasons past
Jeg Coughlin earns number one qualifying spot for NHRA Pro Stock
There was no clear cut domination during the first three of the four qualifying sessions. The number one spot changed hands between Coughlin, Jason Line and Edwards, respectively, each session. Coughlin returned in the fourth and final session on Saturday afternoon to finish what he had started by stealing back the top spot with a track record setting 6.520 elapsed time, almost three full hundredths on the number two qualifier.
"We had really good air conditions this weekend for qualifying," Coughlin said. "With the track still being one of the newer ones on the tour, it's still a little green compared to some we compete on or you could have seen even better numbers."
It was an extra special weekend for Coughlin's Pro Stock team, not only the number one qualifier, which also earns him precious points in the prestigious 2010 K&N Horsepower Challenge, but also the special colors he was flying on his team's Chevy Cobalt.
His team welcomed all four members of the U.S. men's bobsled team, the first four-man team to earn a gold medal for the U.S. in the last 62 years.
As part of a special tribute to the team, Coughlin's Pro Stock car was adorned with the "Night Train" logo (the nickname the men's four-man team gave their sled) on the scoop plus a replica of the gold medal the team captured at the Vancouver Games.
During eliminations, the car wasn't quite as cooperative as it had been in qualifying, causing Coughlin to bow out in the first round.
"We had our pic of lanes and went with lane two, which historically had been the best lane for Pro Stock cars," Coughlin explained. "We got out there in the middle of second, then even third and fourth gear and it just wanted to push the car to the wall more and more with each gear change. I just wasn't able to keep my foot in the throttle and hang on to it for the finish line."
"Really though, I'm so excited to have qualified number one and to have added to our points for the chance to be a part of the K&N Horsepower Challenge again this year," he continued. "To have been able to win the K&N event three times already in seasons past, is just fantastic and I hope to be able to do so again."
"The K&N Challenge puts the best of the best in Pro Stock against one another in a three round shootout, one that we work very hard to get into from June to June. K&N puts so much into it for our class and continues to raise the bar each year by getting the fans involved, with our class in general and with the Challenge by offering them a chance to win huge prizes as well with the sweepstakes. That just makes this program even more special," Coughlin added.
Eight events remain in 2010 K&N Pro Stock Challenge points battle, in which the top seven drivers along with an eighth selected by fan vote, will compete for the title at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, June 24-27.
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