POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 13) — Jeg Coughlin Jr. will enter eliminations for the season-opening 50th annual NHRA Winternationals as one of the favorites to take the win after qualifying his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt second overall with a 6.591 at 209.59 mph.

“The car’s running great,” Coughlin said after Saturday’s time trials. “We’ve been working at getting it to hook up in the lower gears, especially second and third, and it’s responding well to what we’re doing.

“We’ll keep pecking away to try and make it better. (Top qualifier Mike) Edwards made a good poke and he’s running well but we’re only a hundredth of a second back so we’re right there. It’s all going to come down to execution.”

Coughlin will be trying for his seventh victory at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, having won here twice in 1999, and again in 2000, 2001, 2005, and 2007.

“One of our primary goals has always been to keep the car in the top five of every session, whether it’s in qualifying or eliminations,” Coughlin said. “Of course, now it’s even more important in qualifying because they’re giving out bonus points to the top three cars in each session. We’ve already managed to collect some of those extra points here and that’s exciting.

“It got warm today and we expect it to get warmer tomorrow so it will be paramount to keep up with the conditions and the track surface. So far, the steps we’ve taken to adjust to the heat are working so we’re in good shape.”

Coughlin will open the first elimination session of the year opposite Larry Morgan, who qualified 15th with a best run of 6.645 at 207.78 mph.

“Everyone that qualified for the race is capable of winning,” Coughlin said. “Nothing has changed in that regard. We’ll have our hands full from the get-go, but that’s how we like it.”


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