CHICAGO (June 8) – Championship contender Jeg Coughlin Jr. looked sharp in opening day action at the 10th annual Torco Race Fuels Route 66 Nationals, earning the top position in the field in the first session before slipping back to third by day’s end. The lofty ranking was achieved by his best pass of 6.632 at 208.17 mph in his yellow and black Chevrolet Cobalt.

“It was a good start for us,” said 36-year-old Coughlin, who also posted a 6.647 Friday. “The first two runs right out of the trailer were good and that’s always a goal the team has so they can develop a strong baseline for the racetrack.

“We did drop back two spots in Q2 but I don’t think it will hurt us at all. The car went left a little on the launch of both runs and I probably got a tire width out of the groove in Round 2, which could have cost us the top spot. But we’re still happy.”

Coughlin and the rest of the Pro Stock class will have two more chances to make runs down Route 66 in Saturday’s final two qualifying sessions, although Coughlin doesn’t expect to se anyone make a giant move on the elimination ladder.

“We have a little bit left in the tune-up, which is exciting,” Coughlin said. “But from what I understand tomorrow will be quite a bit warmer so we won’t be going any quicker. We’ll try to put down two more good passes and get set for race day.

“Everyone at Victor Cagnazzi Racing is very focused right now on keeping our two cars solidly in the hunt for the Countdown to the Championship. Going rounds on Sunday will be key to our success.”

As host to Saturday’s 22nd annual JEGS Allstars event, Coughlin plans to spend all of his free time watching drag racing’s top sportsman racers battle for divisional supremacy and year-long bragging rights. The JEGS Allstars race pits the top racers in each of the NHRA’s eight sportsman categories across seven different divisions against one another for the most prestigious title in amateur drag racing.

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