EPPING, N.H. (June 4) — Six-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. had the quicker car Sunday at the fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals, but the 76-time national event winner lost to teammate Vincent Nobile by .0042 seconds, ending his day in the opening round of eliminations.
The difference came at the starting line when Nobile launched first by .032 seconds. That slight lead was enough to put his Mountain View Tires Chevrolet Camaro out front for good, despite Coughlin closing the gap at every timing interval in his JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro.
"Good job by Vincent," Coughlin said. "We both ran well that session in comparison to the field, but he got a better jump and that was enough to get the win.
"We've been working a brand-new tune-up this weekend and that probably caught up to us a little today because we sure feel like we could have been quicker. If we had been, that might have turned the result our way, but no matter what, we are very pleased with the direction we're heading and we'll definitely keep after it next weekend in Englishtown (N.J.)"
The race was close, with Nobile winning with a 6.586-second quarter-mile pass at 210.77 mph to Coughlin's 6.558 at 212.26 mph. The final margin of victory measured about 14 inches.
There is very little time to lament today's loss as the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals begin Friday at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in New Jersey.
"With another race here in the northeast we won't have the luxury of returning to the shop in Oklahoma so the Elite guys will work on our three team cars here in Epping and then go straight to E-Town and finish tidying them up down there," Coughlin said. "It's a fairly short commute by NHRA standards.
"We've kind of had an up/down run here lately so if that holds, next weekend will be an 'up' one for us. It feels like we have everything pretty much the way we want it to be so it's just a matter of executing, and that includes what I do in the driver's seat. I felt good in there today but it didn't quite turn out how we had hoped."
FOX Sports 1 will air all of today's elimination action beginning at 4:30 p.m. (Time is local and subject to change).