HOUSTON (April 28) — Jeg Coughlin Jr. is used to winning races and claiming world titles, not failing to qualify for national events as he did this weekend in Houston. It was the five-time series champion’s second DNQ of the year.
“We’re big boys so we’ll face this head on,” Coughlin said from the JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger pit. “This is definitely not what we had on the script for this weekend. We came in here with high hopes after getting to the semis at the last race in Charlotte. We had made what we thought were good changes with the chassis and we had another new motor we were excited to run. It just didn’t work out.”
The weekend started on a decent note as Coughlin opened with a 6.634 at 209.85 mph that placed him 10th overall. Unfortunately, that turned out to be his best run of the meet as he experienced tire shake in Q2 and Q4 and only went 6.661 in Q3.
“We hurt the motor a bit in Q2,” Coughlin said. “It wasn’t too bad but it was enough that we needed to change it out. The timing of that was bad as it happened in the one big session when everyone went low.
“We put the motor we used in Charlotte back in there last night and ran it in both runs today but it was just a different animal altogether. It struck the rear tires very hard in both runs and spun like crazy in the first 30 feet, which just knocked all the momentum out of the runs.”
After talking with the media, Coughlin assembled his team for a closed door meeting.
“It was very constructive,” Coughlin said. “Believe me, no one wants to get this thing rolling more than the men in this pit, and (car builder) Jerry Haas also joined us and offered his thoughts. We’ve elected to stay and test Monday to try some different things so we’ll work from there.
“I’m bummed for our fans and supporters but I appreciate all the kind words. We’ve been in this position before and always pulled through it. I know we will this time too.”
Coughlin’s luck wasn’t much better in Stock eliminator, where he fell in Round 2 despite posting a perfect .000-second reaction time.
“It’s so tough in that class,” Coughlin said. “But it’s so fun. I’m having a blast running that car and we plan to bring it with us next weekend so I’ll have another go with it in Atlanta.”
The seventh event of the 2012 season kicks off Friday at Atlanta Dragway.
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