ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 23) — Jeg Coughlin Jr. celebrated his 37th birthday by placing his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt in the exact same position on the elimination ladder that he occupied two weeks ago when he won the race in Chicago. Coughlin’s 6.612-second run at 209.46 mph, which he carded Friday night, was good enough to secure the No. 3 qualifying position after Saturday’s action at the 38th annual ProCare Rx NHRA SuperNationals.

Coughlin will enter race day with a decided advantage over his first-round opponent, veteran racer Mike Edwards, who qualified 14th with a 6.640 at 207.56 mph. This will mark the third Round 1 meeting of the year between the two friends with Coughlin holding a perfect 2-0 record so far.

“We feel as though we have a real good handle on the racetrack and our tune-up,” Coughlin said. “Mike is always tough to face, especially in the first round, so we’ll need to continue to make good runs to beat him.”

Both of Coughlin’s Saturday runs, which came under increased heat and direct sunlight, were quicker than Edwards’ best pass. He opened with a 6.633 at 208.33 mph and improved to a 6.620 at 209.23 mph in the second session.

“We hurt a motor in the first session but still ran a 6.63, so that was encouraging to a certain extent,” Coughlin said. “Of course we don’t want to beat up our parts but to have a motor that’s wounded still run a 6.63 is exceptional.

‘We swapped bullets for the second run and improved to a 6.62, which I feel is really good for the conditions. We’re excited and ready to race, and we’re really enjoying our time in New Jersey and New York. It’s an exciting place to be.”

Coughlin has two world championships (2000 and 2002) in Pro Stock, as well as 35 national event victories. He’s won twice at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park (1998 and 2000).

Sunday’s eliminations begin at 11 a.m. Pro Stock should open action around noon.

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