SONOMA, Calif. (July 29) – Jeg Coughlin Jr. stared down a familiar opponent in the second round of the 20th annual Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals – his Victor Cagnazzi Racing teammate Dave Connolly. When the lights flashed, the three-time series champion left on his young protégé, but on this day Connolly had the quicker racecar and was able to pass and catch Coughlin to take the win by one hundredth of a second.

Coughlin began the day with a strong win over Greg Stanfield, beating him from one end of the strip to the other with a 6.643-second pass at 206.86 mph to Stanfield’s 6.687 to 206.92 mph.

Against Connolly, Coughlin sprinted from the line with a .045-second reaction time to Connolly’s .053-second start. But Connolly’s car slowly closed the gap and managed to pass Coughlin to take the win with a 6.657 at 207.18 mph to Coughlin’s 6.682 at 206.86 mph.

“We spun the tires down low and lost that little extra bit of get-up-and-go that you need to get a good pass going,” Coughlin said. “After that I was basically along for the ride.

“It’s never fun to lose but at least my teammate advanced. We need to keep our yellow cars right there in the mix with the KB Racing cars. We’ve already locked up our two spots in the Countdown to the Championship so it’s all about positioning and gaining some momentum now.”

This race ends the first six-in-a-row run of races in NHRA history. The tour will now take a week off before heading to Brainerd, Minn., for the 26th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.

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