COMMERCE, Ga. (May 6) — Six-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. will try for his fourth Atlanta crown from the favored side of the elimination ladder after qualifying his JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro in the No. 4 position at the 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals.
Coughlin posted a best run of 6.590 seconds at 210.41 mph in Saturday's opening session. Due to rain, qualifying action was shortened to just two rounds, both taking place Saturday. Coughlin's second run was a 6.604 at 209.79 mph.
"With Friday being completely rained out and just getting two runs here today, we feel pretty fortunate to qualify in the top half of the top half of the field," Coughlin said. "Both of our runs were very consistent and quick so we feel like we can run well against anyone in either lane.
"We'll start with lane choice and do our best to maintain it throughout the day, should we be fortunate enough to advance."
Of Coughlin's 58 career Pro Stock wins, three have come at Atlanta Dragway. He defeated Bruce Allen to win his first title here in 2000 and defeated then-teammate Allen Johnson in the final of the 2010 event, scoring his landmark 50th Pro Stock title in the process. He also won the 2014 event by beating Greg Anderson.
"This is one of the tracks we enjoy coming to," Coughlin said. "The fans are always great, they come in in droves and we have a fun time with them. Even yesterday in on-and-off rain, they stuck with us. We desperately wanted to give them a show but it had to wait until today.
"The JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro feels great. Mark (Ingersoll, crew chief) and the rest of the Elite Motorsports team will digest all of the data we gathered with the three team cars we have here and give me one bad hotrod tomorrow. It's going to be a fun race day."
As the No. 4 qualifier, Coughlin will open opposite Australian Shane Tucker, who qualified 13th with a 6.752 at 204.26 mph.
"They're all tough in this class," Coughlin said. "You can win and lose from any spot, as we saw last week in Charlotte, so we'll make sure we have the car prepared to the full extent and I'll do everything I can to drive the wheels off this thing."
Coughlin's wife Samantha was one of 19 drivers to advance through the first round of Super Gas eliminations Saturday. She is driving the JEGS.com Corvette Roadster.
Pro Stock with eliminations begin at noon, Sunday. Television coverage on FOX Sports airs at 6 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in EDT).