Returning series champion Jeg Coughlin’s second race back in the Pro Stock ranks after almost a year off was an unqualified success as his Slammers Ultimate Milk/ race team continued to make progress with his new Chevrolet Cobalt. Coughlin is using the last three races of 2006 as an extended test session for a title run in 2007.

This weekend at the sixth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Coughlin once again qualified in the top half of the quickest field in track history and recorded another elimination-round win on Sunday before being taken out by new champ Jason Line by a few hundredths of a second.

“This Slammers/Jegs team is really clicking,” Coughlin said. “Our team owner Victor Cagnazzi is committed to making this group the best in the sport and he’s closing in fast on that goal. I’m proud to be associated with this team and we’re all really excited about next year.”

After dismissing Kurt Johnson in the opening round with a 6.791 at 202.73 mph to Johnson’s 6.809 at 202.94 mph, Coughlin set his sights on POWERade points leader Line. Coughlin was definitely up for the race, leaving the tree with a great .017-second reaction time. But Line was able to catch and pass him before the finish line, posting a 6.767 at 203.31 mph to Coughlin’s 6.810 at 202.61 mph.

“Losing to Jason Line is nothing to be ashamed of at this point,” Coughlin said. “He’s proven over the course of this season, especially down the stretch, that he’s got the baddest car on the planet right now and I congratulate him on his first professional championship. I know how he feels and I want to bring that exuberance to this team next year.”

Up next for Coughlin is his return to Pomona, Calif., for the 42nd annual Auto Club World Finals. Coughlin is the defending champion of the race, which was the 46th national event victory of his career.

“My feelings about Pomona are well chronicled,” Coughlin said. “I’ve been racing there for years but I still get goosebumps every time I pull through the gates. It’s a shrine to drag racers and I’m honored to be returning as the defending champion, especially with a car like mine that is very capable of winning it all.”


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