POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 9) — Displaying the same aptitude that clinched his fourth world championship just a few months ago at this very racetrack, Jeg Coughlin Jr. posted his best qualifying pass of the 48th annual NHRA Winternationals at the perfect time, running a 6.644 at 208.23 mph in Saturday’s first session to move-up to the No. 2 position in the 16-car field.
Coughlin and his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt crew had the third round circled as the a pivotal run due to the fact it took place at the same time that Sunday’s first elimination round is scheduled to take place.
“We’re expecting pretty much the same conditions in Round 1 so we’re really pleased to see that number because it showed we’re right on track for where we need to be,” Coughlin said. “What’s even more encouraging is that we ran that pass in the right lane, which appears to be a hundredth (of a second) or two slower than the left lane. Since we’ll have lane choice in Round 1, we should be able to start race day with a great pass.”
The 51-time national event winner will open eliminations against fellow Ohio driver Ron Krisher, who qualified 15th with a best pass of 6.715 at 205.98 mph. Krisher also uses Cagnazzi Racing horsepower.
“As we saw in 2007, anyone capable of qualifying for these races is certainly capable of winning the race,” Coughlin said. “I think a big key for tomorrow will be staying consistent as it heats up and doing our best to maintain lane choice. Although, we did pretty good in the right lane too so maybe it won’t matter as much.
“What I know for a fact is this team will be ready. This race is kind of like the first day of spring where you finally get to go outside after being cooped-up all winter. The guys are so happy to be at the track and running this car to see first-hand that all the work they did in the off-season was worth the effort.”
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