LAS VEGAS (April 15) – Pro Stock veteran Jeg Coughlin Jr. raced from the No. 1 qualifying position to a runner-up finish at the eighth annual Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, falling to fellow former series champion Greg Anderson by two-hundredths of a second in the trophy round.

Anderson needed the quickest and fastest pass of the weekend — a 6.724-second run at 205.29 mph — to take out Coughlin, who held a .012-second lead at the starting line. The final tally showed Coughlin crossing in 6.758 seconds at 204.45 mph. He is now 34-19 in final-round showings.

“We qualified No. 1, came in second on race day, and the crew won the Full Throttle Challenge so we’re very pleased with the weekend,” Coughlin said. “There’s only one person happier than us and that’s Greg and bottom line is they beat us and deserve the win.

“The good news is our Slammers Chevrolet Cobalt and my teammate Dave Connolly’s Torco/Slammers Cobalt showed this weekend that we’re right there with Greg’s team and those two cars over there. They’ve been at the top of the heap for the last four years so it’s good to let them know we’re here.”

Coughlin ran extremely strong all day, beating opening-round foe Max Naylor with a 6.754 before earning a couple of free passes against Jim Yates and Allen Johnson, who both fouled out against him. In the race for lane choice in the final, Anderson and Coughlin both ran identical 6.740s. Therefore lane choice was decided on top speed, giving Anderson the advantage.

“Lane choice was probably worth a hundredth of a second or more,” Anderson admitted in his post-race interview. “Jeggy is tough and they’re getting better every race. We definitely know they’re coming.”

Coughlin strengthened his fourth-place ranking in the Countdown to the Championship standings as he is now just two rounds out of second place. The NHRA POWERade tour takes a weekend off before the next national event in Atlanta.

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