DINWIDDIE, Va. (Oct. 14) – Jeg Coughlin’s return to NHRA competition keeps getting better and better as the three-time series champ managed to improve on his career-best pass from Friday night with a stellar 6.604-second run at 208.28 mph Saturday at Virginia Motorsports Park. The run earned the 47-time national event winner the 7th position in the quickest Pro Stock field ever assembled.

“It feels great to run career-best numbers right out of the trailer on our first race back in the Slammers Ultimate Milk car,” Coughlin said. “It’s a real testament to the whole team Victor [Cagnazzi] has put together here. I’m honored that he selected me to be one of his team drivers.

“We only have 17 runs on this car and just a few on this motor but the whole package has already shown so much promise. I don’t know if this is the best car I’ve ever driven but it’s certainly right up there at the top. The competition in this class is phenomenal and to come back from an extended break and be right back in the mix takes a total team effort.”

Coughlin, who took a break from professional-level racing since his victory at the 2005 season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals in California, has instantly regained his status as one of the top drivers on the POWERade tour. After earning a top-half berth in this weekend’s inaugural Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals, Coughlin and his Slammers Ultimate Milk/Jegs.com Chevrolet Cobalt crew are considered favorites to win it all.

Although the NHRA tour hasn’t visited Richmond since 2000, Coughlin is the defending Pro Stock champion here. He beat Virginia native Jim Yates for the trophy that year with a run of 6861 seconds at 199.73 mph.

“The evolution of the sport has been incredible,” Coughlin said. “The technology and aerodynamics of the car designs these days is second to none. The advancements they’ve made with the internal components of the motor are almost hard to comprehend when you compare it to what we had just six years ago when I won this race.

“It’s exciting to drive these racecars nowadays. I know I’m having fun and from what I hear the fans are really excited when we run elapsed times and top speeds like this. I’m really looking forward to Sunday’s eliminations. I’m sure the blood will be pumping in the morning.”

Coughlin will have lane choice in the opening round when he faces off against Allen Johnson. The match up will put a Chevy and Mopar head-to-head.

ESPN2 will cover this event from 7-9:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 15.

For information on the Slammers Ultimate Milk or Bravo! Foods go to www.slammersracing.com.

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