CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept 19) – Although Jeg Coughlin Jr. made an important move in the Countdown to the Championship picture, he couldn’t help but think about what he left on the table.

Coughlin and Chevy Cobalt beat Pro Stock points leader Mike Edwards in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations of the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway.

Unfortunately in the second round, Coughlin’s car didn’t charge off the line quite right which opened the door enough for Greg Stanfield to step through and get the win.

“We didn’t slip down a spot in the points, and the top four or five in the points are that much more compact,” Coughlin said. “We’re closer to first than we were when we started the race.

“In one sense we made some headway, but in another we missed out on a lot of opportunity to make more gains. We had a good car for it today and just missed it on the setup.’

Coughlin won on a hole shot over Edwards in the first round. He enjoyed a .043 second advantage off the line against Edwards which was enough to make Coughlin’s 6.621 second pass at 209.30 mph hold up against Edwards’ quicker 6.609 at 209.65 mph.

“That was fantastic, because we had a lot riding on that round,” Coughlin said. “Edwards could have put a lot of distance on us had we not won. We knew that could be a pivotal point as far as our Championship hopes are concerned.

“You win a round like that you half expect to pull around the corner and have the Wally waiting for you.”

Coughlin leaves zMax Dragway still in fourth place, 80 points behind the leader Edwards.

In the second round, the car was balky at the start with allowed Stanfield to lead wire-to wire. Stanfield crossed the finish line with a 6.652 second pass at 207.72 mph. Coughlin had a 6.671 at 208.55 mph.

“We lost to the hottest car in the Countdown,” Coughlin said about Stanfield, who finished runner-up on Sunday. “He’s a good player. He caught us with our guard down and he took advantage of it.”

Coughlin will look to gain even more ground in the championship standings at the Sept. 23-26 O’Reilly Auto Parts Super Start Batteries Nationals at Texas Motorplex outside Dallas.


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