SEATTLE (Aug. 3) — Things couldn't be going much better for Jeg Coughlin Jr. and his brother Mike Coughlin at the 32nd annual Magic Dry NHRA Nationals. Both men managed to qualify atop their respective categories, Jeg Jr. in Pro Stock and Mike in Top Dragster, and Mike already advanced to Round 2 because his starting position earned him a bye-run in a 31-car field.
"We secured the No. 1 spot yesterday and held onto it through today so we're very happy," Jeg Jr. said. "We made three really good runs and our fourth run today was just so-so but overall we were good enough to qualify No. 1. Good work by the entire Elite team."
As it has for several races now, Jeg Jr.'s JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro has been running like a bracket car, repeating very competitive elapsed times every round. So far at Pacific Raceways, Jeg Jr. has run 6.539 at 210.57 mph, 6.541 at 210.50 mph, 6.553 at 210.67 mph and 6.585 at 210.41 mph.
Jeg Jr.'s best pass came Friday evening under the lights when he regained the top position from teammate Alex Laughlin to secure what would officially become his 30th career No. 1 qualifier by Saturday afternoon.
"The car's in pretty good shape," Jeg Jr. said. "I think we've got just a little bit of stuff to line out for tomorrow in the sun and the heat, but Rickie (Jones, crew chief) is really good at making all the right adjustments. The team's got their finger on that pulse just right and I think we'll have a good car so let's see if we can win four rounds tomorrow."
Having qualified in first place, Jeg Jr. will enter race day as the favorite to win the Seattle trophy, just as he did in 2002. He will first face Alan Prusiensky, who anchored the 16-car field with a 6.622 at 208.39 mph. The first round of Pro Stock eliminations will begin around noon Pacific time.
The extra effort Mike's crew put into getting his JEGS.com Top Dragster on the pole with a 6.152 at 222.62 mph paid immediate dividends in Round 1 of eliminations Saturday when he got a bye run to advance to Round 2. Mike will face Kevin Chambers when eliminations continue. As a precaution, the team changed engines between rounds.