CHICAGO (June 30) – He might be the 16th and final qualifier in Pro Stock at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals, but Jeg Coughlin Jr. has all the confidence in the world in his JEGS / Mopar Dodge Avenger heading into Sunday’s eliminations.


“It’s actually running really well,” Coughlin said. “We’ve made a lot of changes from the time we got here to the time we finished Q4. We were 12th after the first three sessions, but weren’t aggressive enough in Q4 when conditions were really good.”


Coughlin had a best pass of 6.659 seconds at 207.59 mph to claim that final spot in the field. No matter where Coughlin has qualified during his career, he’s never been an easy out and doesn’t expect that trend to change at this race.


“I think we might be able to surprise these guys,” said Coughlin, who has won at least one race from all 16 qualifying positions during his career. “We’re going up against Allen Johnson who has run in the 6.50s most of the weekend. It’s going to be tough to overcome, but we’re going to give it our best shot.”


Johnson qualified No. 1 with a best pass of 6.597 seconds at 209.26 mph.


Coughlin said the engine hasn’t been the stumbling block this weekend, so once the right combination is found, the JEGS / Mopar Dodge will run with anybody in the field.


“The setup we ran tonight isn’t far off from the conditions we’ll face tomorrow afternoon,” Coughlin said. “We’ll still have to get a little more aggressive, but we’re in it and we can still win.


“The engine is real happy and we’ve been running good speeds compared to the rest of the pack. That means we need to do our jobs with the clutch and the gearing package to get this thing down the track more efficiently.”


Eliminations for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals get under way at 11 a.m. CDT from Route 66 Raceway.




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