CHARLOTTE (Oct. 12) — Jeg Coughlin Jr. has earned the No. 2 qualifying position for the second playoff race in a row and once again he finds himself just behind his Elite Motorsports teammate Erica Enders. The multi-time world champions are racing at the 12th annual NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Coughlin posted a 6.524 at 210.37 mph under the lights Friday night when conditions were the best. He also was second quickest in the heat of Saturday's final round. Enders also posted her best pass Friday night.
"It's pretty neat for Erica and I to be 1-2 at two consecutive races," Coughlin said. "It speaks to the intentions of the Elite team and the work they've put in to give all of us the best possible chance to win. This time of the year is when you hold nothing back and certainly we don't plan to give an inch when racing starts tomorrow.
"I know the crew chiefs are earning their pay here. Yesterday we had quite a lengthy delay before that night session and it cooled off a bit during that down time so adjustments had to be made on the fly. Today it was beautiful sunshine and some heat so the numbers went up a touch. Tomorrow is supposed to be on-and-off rain with temperatures in the low 60s so it'll be a real test for all of us."
Just as it was in St. Louis two weekends ago, Coughlin will open race day against Val Smeland, who qualified 15th overall with a 6.598 at 209.04 mph. Coughlin beat Smeland in their first encounter.
"There are a lot of similarities between all three of the Countdown to the Championship races we've had so far, including racing Val again," Coughlin said. "The main thing is the Elite cars are running great. The only part I would like to change is my results on Sunday. We've posted a semifinal and quarterfinal finish so far and we need to improve on those results tomorrow to stay in this chase.
"I couldn't be happier with the team, the car and even my driving. You just need to be near-perfect to win in this class, especially in the playoffs."
Coughlin, a six-time world champion with 81 national event victories, jumped from eighth to sixth in the first Countdown race in Reading, Pa., and maintained that spot in St. Louis.
Throughout the month of October, the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro will swap from its usual yellow and black combination to a bright pink scheme to help raise awareness for breast cancer.