SEATTLE (July 10) – The expected break in the weather didn’t come and the track got tricky for Jeg Coughlin Jr. and the Chevy Cobalt on Saturday at the NHRA Northwest Nationals.
Coughlin qualified fifth in the field, which could prove crucial, because the right lane proved to be far superior to the left and lane choice is going to be important.
“Lane choice could come into play tomorrow,” Coughlin said. “Unless you are pretty darn savvy and crafty on this slicker track.”
Coughlin’s best pass was a 6.611 seconds at 210.01 mph. He squares off against Rodger Brogdon in the first round. Brogdon qualified 12th in the field with a best pass of 6.645 seconds at 208.59 mph.
“We feel like we’re going to have to be on our toes tomorrow to work through this crowd,” Coughlin said. “We’ve got a tough field.”
However, the numbers show a ray of hope for Coughlin because his 210.01 mph was the second fastest speed of qualifying.
“That means the power is good and the car gets happy when it gets going at speed,” he said. “What we’re lacking is getting it efficient when you let the clutch out and that first gear change. That’s Pro Stock at its finest right there. The teams that sort that out quick usually perform better.”
Coughlin said he’s going to be studying the weather radar closely on Sunday because keeping ahead of the conditions is going to be an important skill to have during eliminations.
“First round tomorrow will be similar to our Q3 run this morning,” Coughlin said. “I think we’ll be OK then. We’ll have to be on our toes the rest of the day on.
“The weather today pretty much matched the hour by hour forecast. We’ll track the hour-by-hour really closely and try and map out how our day will run.”
Eliminations for the NHRA Northwest Nationals begin at 11 a.m. PDT on Sunday.
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