GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14) — It’s heady times at Victor Cagnazzi Racing. Driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. is the tour’s latest winner and is within two points of the Full Throttle lead. It’s Cagnazzi’s 51st birthday this Saturday. It’s Jeg Coughlin Sr.’s 71st birthday Sunday. And Jeg Coughlin III is at the race this weekend because it’s spring break.

All the group needs to cap off a perfect weekend is a victory at this weekend’s 40th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

“I think we have a shot,” Coughlin said. “This Chevrolet Cobalt continues to get better every run and we’re pecking away at the tune-up. We’re just about where we want to be.”

Through qualifying, Coughlin is the No. 6 qualifier with a 6.623 at 207.50 mph. He’ll face good friend Justin Humphreys in Sunday’s opening round of eliminations. Humphreys qualified 11th with a 6.637 at 207.53 mph. Coughlin has a lifetime record of 7-2 versus Humphreys.

“This is the first race where we’ve really had to deal with hot conditions,” Coughlin said. “Pretty much everyone in Pro Stock ran better yesterday because the humidity was a little more agreeable. We had a good idea we wouldn’t improve so we worked on a race day set-up we can use to go rounds.

“It’s exciting to have a new car that we’re basically still figuring out and yet still be in the top half of the field through qualifying, especially with the weather we’ve had to deal with. It’s a real testament to the crew, our tuner Roy Simmons, and my Dad. Everyone is working really hard and it shows.”

This is the first race of the year that Jeg Sr. has attended. Although he consults with Simmons and his son after every run, he usually does so via the Internet and his cellular phone.

“Dad’s been racing 40 year so he’s a real valuable asset. To have him at the races is special for me and it sure helps us with the car. Plus, we’ll get to celebrate his birthday tomorrow and I’d sure like to give him a Wally.”

Another car that is having a big weekend is the Super Comp dragster of Samantha Kenny, which has advanced to the third round of eliminations. Kenny is Jeg Jr.’s girlfriend.


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