PHOENIX (Feb. 20) — Four-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. will begin defense of his Arizona NHRA Nationals title from the No. 7 position after posting a steady 6.641-second pass at 208.94 mph in his Chevrolet Cobalt during qualifying at Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix.

Coughlin, a two-time winner at FIR after taking trophies here in 2009 and 2000, will face Greg Stanfield, who qualified 10th with a 6.660 at 208.17 mph.

“I’m optimistic to get out and race, no question about it,” Jeg said. “We didn’t have too strong of a race out at Pomona, so I think we’re a little hungry right now. Set-up wise, we have some homework to do tonight to get the car happy with going down the racetrack. I don’t believe we’ll have the same issue with the track itself tomorrow, so that was probably just a one run deal for us. We were having trouble right about the 600 or 700 foot mark.

“I feel real confident. Like I said, we’ve got some homework to do as a team to get the car happy, and I think we’ll get out and race for a win tomorrow.”

Qualifying was shortened from four rounds to three due to rain and other delays, including a pair of accidents. Fortunately, no one was hurt although it took lots of time to clean up the racetrack.

In Saturday’s lone session, which ended up being run in the evening hours, Coughlin ran a 6.991 at 163.08 mph.

Coughlin entered this event ninth in the Full Throttle Pro Stock points.

Also this weekend, Coughlin is competing in Stock eliminator in his Mopar Dodge Challenger. After qualifying fourth with a 10.19, rain washed out the eliminations and pushed them back to Sunday.

“I’ve been getting used to the Mopar Dodge Challenger and trying to bring it to my driving style a little bit, and I think we’ve made a lot of headway here in the last couple of runs,” Coughlin said. “My reaction times are starting to get where I’d like them to be, and the car itself is repeating very well. That’s the key in the bracket racing part of Stock Eliminaton. All in all, I feel fantastic. I’m looking forward to first round.”


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