ENNIS, Texas (Oct. 18) — It's been a great day for the yellow and black JEGS.com brand as team drivers Jeg Coughlin Jr. and his nephew Troy Coughlin Jr. both lead their respective classes, Pro Stock and Top Alcohol Dragster, at the 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals.
"With three races to go in the championship chase we're trying to be as aggressive as possible all the way around," Jeg Jr. said. "My crew chief Rickie Jones cooked up a real fast combination for the first session and the car felt really strong. He reviewed that data and made a few adjustments to get us even quicker and everything worked out."
In the first qualifying session, Jeg Jr. posted a 6.539 at 210.77 mph, good enough for the top rung on the Pro Stock ladder. Once the sun went down and the track cooled off, the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro became even quicker, blasting to a 6.509 at 210.41 mph, that included a stunning 0.956 second 60-foot time.
"That's a heckuva number down low," Jeg Jr. said. "It means the car got up on the tires and accelerated very well. We were No. 1 here a year ago so it's a track that's favored us in the past. You gotta love Texas. I even had a little George Strait playing when we rolled up to the starting line.
"Right now, it appears the weather will prevent us from being any quicker tomorrow but we've gone to bed many times in the past thinking one thing about the weather only to wake up to something completely different so we'll definitely be ready for whatever we encounter. It would be cool to be No. 1 qualifier again."
Just like his uncle, Troy Jr. managed to lead both sessions Friday in his JEGS McPhillips Racing Top Alcohol Dragster. Troy Jr. already won the East Region championship but he's still fighting for a top finish in the national standings, so a big weekend in Dallas would tremendously help his quest.
Troy Jr.'s best run — 5.146 at 281.19 mph — actually came in the heat of the day. He later rode crew chief Rich McPhillips always-steady tune-up to a 5.160 at 275.06 mph.
"A little more of Rich and the boys doing their thing," Troy Jr. said. "When you have the kind of passion for the sport and the incredible desire to win this team has, it's just so special. I say it all the time but I feel very, very lucky to be on this team and driving this car.
"Right out of the trailer we ran the 5.14 at 280-plus that put us on top and then we came back with a 5.16 at 275 that shows we have a very consistent racecar here at the Metroplex. We have one more qualifying round early tomorrow and then we are scheduled to have two elimination rounds so hopefully the car stays just like it is."