ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 11) — Jeg Coughlin Jr. has been around drag racing his entire life and has won enough Pro Stock races (58) and championships (five) to place himself among the top 10 drivers in the sport, so he knows well that fortunes can swing back and forth at a moment's notice.
That's why the veteran racer keeps his emotions on an even keel, especially when his Magneti Marelli offered by Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Dart isn't performing at its peak.
"We've had some encouraging signs the last few races in particular but we need a bit more," Coughlin said. "We really thought we were onto something last weekend in Epping (N.H.) but on race day we fell a little flat. We got here as quickly as possible and made a few more changes and so far we're doing OK."
Coughlin is qualified mid-pack after a ninth-best pass of 6.622 at 209.85 mph. The effort pits him against teammate Erica Enders in the first round of eliminations, which are schedule to begin around noon, Sunday.
"You never want to race a teammate early on race day, but when you qualify in the middle of the group, you don't have as many choices," Coughlin said. "I guess the silver lining is that one of these Elite Dodge Darts will advance to Round 2 no matter what.
"What we need to do is take the performance gains our other teammate, Vincent Nobile, has going on with his Mountain View Tire car and put them in these two Dodges."
Nobile led the Elite Motorsports team with a fourth-best 6.541 at 212.26 mph.
"Certainly we want to perform better across the board," Coughlin said. "All three of our cars should be up there where Vincent is but these things take time. If there's one thing I've learned over the years it's that it takes time to get a program clicking perfectly. We've been fortunate enough to win five world championships in the past and of course Elite won the last two titles with Erica's car, so we have the know-how in this pit.
"The best thing to do is keep your head down and stay after it. This team is very professional and we'll get it figured out together. That will make the rewards of the future so much more enjoyable."
FOX Sports 1 will carry Friday and Saturday's qualifying action from 9 to 11 a.m., Sunday. Eliminations will air from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Sunday.