LAS VEGAS (April 13) – A day many dread — Friday the 13th — wasn’t much of an obstacle for Jeg Coughlin Jr. as he maintained his hot streak of late and powered to the No. 1 position in opening day qualifying action at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Coming off the ninth low qualifying effort of his career two weeks ago in Houston, Coughlin’s Slammers Ultimate Milk Chevrolet Cobalt remains the quickest and fastest in the Pro Stock class. He started the day with a 6.764-second pass, the second best run of the opening session by one-thousandths of a second.

Later, although he was racing in the suspect right-hand lane, Coughlin improved dramatically, driving down the quarter-mile in 6.733 at 204.26 mph to secure the top position on the provisional ladder.

“That was one of those Pro Stock sessions where every car that went down the track was getting quicker and quicker,” said Coughlin, a three-time winner at this facility. “We were getting bumped down the ladder and that’s always an uneasy feeling but the good news is as the session went along the sun kept going down. By the time we got up there the track was totally shaded.

“Credit the team. They made the perfect call on the clutch setup and this Slammers Cobalt just took off. It was nice and cool when we ran and the car reacted perfectly.

“My teammate Dave Connolly ended up second so it’s an exciting time right now to have both of [team owner] Victor Cagnazzi’s cars at the top of the ladder. It’s what we’ve all been working towards and it feels great to be here.”

Qualifying resumes Saturday with two sessions scheduled for noon and 3 p.m.

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