SEATTLE (July 22) — Jeg Coughlin Jr. lost a first-round race to points leader Greg Anderson when his Chevrolet Cobalt suffered a broken motor. The three-time NHRA champion had just shifted into high gear when his engine failed, forcing him to push in the clutch and give up the race to avoid further damage.

“It’s very rare for one of these Victor Cagnazzi motors to break but it happens,” Coughlin said. “Both Greg and I have secured our spots in the Countdown deal so we were both relaxed and having fun out there. I know I wanted to win that race in the worst way and I’m sure Greg had his own ideas about winning. I’m disappointed we couldn’t get to the finish line, although it might not have mattered. He’s running strong this weekend.”

Anderson and Coughlin were side-by-side until about mid-track when Coughlin gave up. Anderson went on to post a 6.654 at 207.50 mph, both the quickest and fastest quarter-mile pass of the weekend. The run also set both ends of the Pacific Raceways record.

“We’ll load up and get ready for Sonoma,” Coughlin said, referring to next weekend’s race. “We’ve got plenty more motors in the trailer and they’re all strong. There’s not much you can do with a deal like this other than turn the page and move on.

“We only had one qualifying session due to all the rain here this weekend. Had we been able to run another round we would have discovered the motor issue in qualifying instead of on race day, but that’s irrelevant now. We’ll be fine and I salute the boys on the team for all their hard work this weekend.”

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