NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
NHRA CarQuest Northwest Nationals
Jeg Coughlin – JEG’S Mail Order / Mopar – Dodge Stratus RT
Race Day Summary
In a race that’s sure to make the highlights reels across the country, Jeg Coughlin and his Jeg’s Mail Order Dodge Stratus R/T lost in the semifinal round of the 18th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals by three-thousandths of a second to fellow Ohioan Ron Krisher, who had a spectacular accident just past the finish line.
Krisher crossed the line two feet ahead of Coughlin after a big holeshot win with a an elapsed time of 6.727 seconds to Coughlin’s 6.724-second effort. But before he had time to celebrate Krisher’s racecar turned violently to the left, hit the retaining wall, and slid several hundred feet on its’ right side before coming to a rest in the middle of the racetrack. Krisher was unhurt in the incident and the wreckage did not affect Coughlin.
Aside from the accident, it was a great day for Coughlin, who doubled his number of semifinal appearances for the year. He passed teammate Richie Stevens to take over sixth place in the POWERade standings before Krisher passed them both with his win over Coughlin to move Jeggy back into seventh place by just nine points.
“Thank goodness Ron is okay,” Coughlin said. “I just caught a flash of something bad happening over there and I knew the best thing I could do was continue on and get out of the way. He ran a great race against us and I’m sure he’s disappointed that he couldn’t make it back up there to run for the trophy.”
Coughlin opened the day with an easy win over Larry Morgan, who left the starting line early and was disqualified with a -.001 second red-light. It was a fortunate twist of fate for Coughlin as the two men posted nearly identical elapsed times 6.723 for Coughlin and 6.724 for Morgan.
“It was extremely close,” Coughlin admitted. “I’m lucky he red-lighted because my light [reaction time] wasn’t very good that round (.051 seconds). Even if we’d left at exactly the same time I would have only one by an inch or two. It’s satisfying to come out on the good side of those kinds of races, especially after being on the wrong end a few times.”
The three-time series champion atoned for his mediocre start in the quarterfinals when he shot off the line well ahead of two-time series champion Jim Yates by a .017- to .054-second margin. The rest of the race was academic as Coughlin slowly added distance to his advantage before taking the win with a 6.741 to Yates’ 6.774.
“It seems like every race Jim and I have had this year has been decided by a few thousandths of a second,” Coughlin said. “He’s always so tough to beat. That put us in the semifinals so the day was made right there. The rest of the action was a bonus.”
Coughlin will try to move further up the ladder in a few days with the 18th annual Fram-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
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Scott ‘Woody’ Woodruff
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NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
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