BELLE ROSE, La. (April 5) – Team JEGS driver Mike Coughlin made the two quickest runs of his career during qualifying today at the fourth annual JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose, La. After running a best of 6.92-seconds on Friday, Coughlin took advantage of improved air and track conditions on Saturday to post a run of 6.770-seconds. Coughlin later improved slightly to a 6.762, which was accompanied by a career-best speed of 205.35 mph.

“Coming into this season, we felt that we’d need to improve our performance a bit in order to keep up with the rest of the competitors in Top Sportsman because this class is getting faster and faster each year,” said Coughlin. “We made some minor changes to our engine program in an effort to pick up a little elapsed time and after the way the car ran today, I have to say I’m pretty please with the way it has all worked out.”

Coughlin is one of six Top Sportsman drivers to run quicker than 7.00-seconds including top qualifier Keith Raferty of Lake Charles, La., who drove his ’07 Pontiac GTO to a time of 6.51-seconds.Coughlin, the reigning NHRA North Central Division Top Sportsman champion, is currently qualified No. 5 in the field and is scheduled to race against No. 17 qualifier Rip Dennis of Florence, Miss., in tomorrow’s opening round.

“No matter what happens tomorrow, I know that my race car is as good as it has ever been so the rest is up to me,” said Coughlin who is making his 2008 season debut in Belle Rose. “Not only is the Cobalt about two-tenths of a second quicker than it was in 2007, but it hasn’t lost any of its consistency. The two runs I made today were just eight thousandths of a second apart and that gives me a lot of confidence heading into eliminations tomorrow.”

Final eliminations for the fourth annual JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 6.

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