Coughlin looked sharp against Johnson, leaving the starting line with a great .007-second reaction time against Johnson’s sluggish .053-second launch. Although Johnson was slowly gaining ground as the two raced down The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he didn’t have enough steam to compensate for the late start.
At the finish line Coughlin’s JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt crossed first with a 6.715 at 205.54 mph ahead of Johnson’s quicker but losing 6.706 at 205.76 mph.
“That race really got us fired up,” Coughlin said. “We’ve had good luck here in the past, winning five times, and I started to get that feeling again like everything was clicking. But it wasn’t meant to be.”
After his strong opening-round race, Coughlin fell off slightly against Krisher, who had a near-perfect .004-second reaction time against Coughlin’s steady .021-second light. Compounding Coughlin’s problems was the big move his car made off the launch pad, which took all of his momentum away. That was all Krisher needed to pull away for the victory, as he won with a 6.685 at 206.35 mph to Coughlin’s 6.730 at 204.91 mph.
“I figured I needed a hundredth or two at the tree to give him a good race,” said Coughlin, a 61-time national event winner. “It didn’t happen, and of course we all saw Ron’s .004 light, which was great for him. Then the car made a big move and I was basically watching Ron from there on out. I got it together pretty quick but he was too far out there for me to catch him.
“We’ll gather our stuff and head over to Pomona and try to end the year on a high note. For now, I’m going to root for my nephew Troy Jr., who has reached the seventh round of Super Comp. Maybe we can still get a win for Team JEGS this weekend. That would be fantastic!”
The season-ending 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals take place Nov. 12-15 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.