GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13) — Four-time Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. will start race day out of the lofty No. 3 position on the 16-car grid after posting a 6.551-second pass at 210.90 mph Saturday at Gainesville Raceway. A 48-time winner in the class, Coughlin will be trying for his first victory of the 2010 season when the elimination rounds of the 41st Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals begin around noon Sunday.

“We’ve made a lot of runs on the car this year and we hadn’t been able to get it to repeat very well until today,” said Coughlin, who also ran a 6.554 in Saturday’s second session. “Dad (Jeg Sr.) has been here with us this weekend and together we sat down with Roy (Simmons, tuner) and Victor (Cagnazzi, team owner) and we started eliminating the things that may have been plaguing us at the first two races.

“We changed a lot of things in testing since the last race and (Friday) was really our first time down the track with this new tune-up so to see it come around this quick was very satisfying. We were fifth quickest of the first round, second quickest this morning, and third quickest just now so we’re running the way we need to run.”

Although his Chevrolet Cobalt has posted several competitive passes this year, Coughlin has yet to post a round win, something he plans to change in Gainesville, a track where he’s recorded two victories (2001 and 2008) in five final-round appearances.

“We need to get that first win light,” Coughlin said. “Once we get that first one we’ll never look back.

“This is the first race my dad has attended this year and it certainly gives me an added level of comfort when he’s around. I’ve raced with Pop my entire career and I know he’s a huge asset for me and for the crew. Hopefully, he brings us some more good luck tomorrow and we can get back to our winning ways.”

Coughlin opens Sunday’s action against Bob Yonke, who qualified 14th with a 6.590 at 209.98 mph.


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