POMONO, Calif. (Nov. 14) — After announcing he would be stepping away from the Pro Stock class in 2011, Jeg Coughlin Jr. made his last ride in the JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt a memorable one, zooming to a runner-up finish at the season-ending 46th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals.

Coughlin scored impressive holeshot victories over new champion Greg Anderson and teammate Rodger Brogdon before pounding semifinal foe Allen Johnson, who redlighted. He then went door-handle-to-door-handle against Shane Gray in the trophy round but ended up a few thousandths of a second behind — Gray posting a 6.566 at 209.20 mph and Coughlin a 6.568 at 210.18 mph.

“We wrote the script but we couldn’t quite get it done at the end there,” Coughlin said. “Either way, it was a great race. I never want to lose but if someone had to beat me I was glad it was Shane Gray getting his first career win. He’s a great guy and that’s a fantastic team that is definitely on it’s way up.

“We finished the year with a car that was capable of winning races and that’s a great way to go out. I drove very aggressively and the guys had the car set on kill. We felt we had nothing to lose and it came together for us until the last few thousandths of a second. I’m happy for the guys and for Victor Cagnazzi.”

Before looking ahead to a future of Sportsman racing in a variety of classes, Coughlin took one last look back at 2010, his 13th year in the Pro Stock class.

“It was a great season as a whole,” he said. “The regular season was fantastic, especially in the summer months when the car really came to life and we were winning races.

“We were in contention for the championship when the Countdown to 1 started but then it all kind of came apart there with some mechanical issues that just set us back. That’s the nature of the sport. There are ups and downs and we’ve been on both ends of it.

“I look forward to the off season and although we don’t know exactly what the future holds for us we know we’re going to enjoy the ride.”


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