Monday, February 23, 2009 6:42 AM
By Tim May
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Jeg Coughlin Jr. won the pro stock title at the NHRA Lucas Slick Mist Nationals yesterday in Chandler, Ariz.

Coughlin, the two-time defending pro stock champion, posted his 42nd national event win. It came on the heels a mildly disappointing 2009 debut 12 days earlier, when he went out in the second round in the rain-delayed eliminations in Pomona, Calif.

“We wanted all the other boys to know we’re here again and we mean business, that we’re serious about going after this third straight championship,” Coughlin said. “To get a win this early in the season feels fantastic. It is a great shot of adrenaline headed back to one of the biggest East Coast races, the Gatornationals (in three weeks).”

Nothing came easy for the Delaware driver and his Cagnazzi Racing team, because Coughlin said that for some reason he wasn’t getting maximum power from his Jegs.com Chevy Cobalt. But in the final against Kurt Johnson, Coughlin was .019 of a second quicker off the starting line and ran a 6.643-second quarter-mile compared to Johnson’s 6.647. That added up to a 7-foot difference at the finish line.

“The main thing is we ran hard, we stayed in front of everybody all day and we kept turning on the win light,” said Coughlin, who was fourth quickest in qualifying. “Bottom line, that’s what it’s all about.”

Ron Capps won funny car and Antron Brown top fuel.

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2009/02/23/0223autocouggh.html

tmay@dispatch.com

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