NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals
Brainerd International Raceway
Brainerd, Minn.

Team JEG’S – Pro Stock
Jeg Coughlin, Jr
Saturday Summary

Two-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin will enter race day of the 23rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals as one of the favorites, having secured a top-half berth in the tight, 16-car elimination field at Brainerd International Raceway. Coughlin locked up the No. 8 qualifying position here with a solid 6.775 at 203.80 mph.

Like most cars in attendance, Coughlin’s Jeg’s Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier ran it’s best numbers of Saturday’s two time trails in the cooler morning session, which is where he posted his run of record. His final pass was a slightly off-pace 6.831 at 202.73 mph.

“I’d say we’re ready,” Coughlin said. “For some reason we didn’t get any data from our on-board computer in Round 3, which hurt a little because we’re still breaking in a new motor and that was our best hit. We sure would like to have that data.

“We had to rely on video and the stats the NHRA produces to see how we fared. We’ll tune from there and move forward. That’s the old school way of doing it. You look at the spark plugs and compare your run to other runs and make some educated guesses. We’ve done it before and we can do it again.”

Coughlin opens eliminations with lane choice over No. 9 qualifier Ron Krisher, who recorded a best of 6.785 at 203.92 mph. Krisher has had an up-and-down season with eight DNQs in the first 15 races. Adding to Coughlin’s slight advantage is the fact he is a three-time finalist here with victories coming in 1999 and 2002.

“Every year’s different but it does give you a big shot of confidence knowing that you can traverse the course and get the job done at a given racetrack,” Coughlin said. “This track had a new surface put down last year and it keeps getting better and better every time we run down the quarter-mile. I’d expect tomorrow will be more of the same thing.”

With eight races left this season, Coughlin also has another very important goal in mind winning at least one national event during the 2004 calendar year, which would prolong a streak he’s kept intact for over a decade.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have won a race almost every year I’ve competed in the NHRA, no matter what class I’ve run in, sportsman or Pro,” said Coughlin, a 45-time national event winner. “The last year we didn’t score a national event victory was in 1993, so it’s been a full 10-plus years of racing. That’s a streak we’d like to keep alive.

“It’s real important for us to get a win this year. We’re certainly capable of it. At this particular event we’re just three hundredths of a second off the top guy so certainly we’re within reach of our goals. And I say that knowing we have some room for improvement. If we can get our numbers in first gear to pick up a little we’ll be fine. I’d love to add another Brainerd trophy to the case.”

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