INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 4) – Five-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion and three-time Pro Stock victor at the sport’s biggest drag race, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Jeg Coughlin Jr. unexpectedly made an early exit in today's eliminations of the 63rd annual running of "the Big Go".
Coughlin’s JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet recorded a best run of 6.625 seconds at 207.88 mph in time trials to land in the No. 14 qualifying slot for Labor Day eliminations. He rolled to the starting line to face off against No. 3 qualifier and eventual event winner Drew Skillman in the opening round. Coughlin left the starting line first with an outstanding .019-second reaction time, but crossed the finish line in second place as Skillman was able to pass him for the win light, 6.713, 205.66 to 6.669, 206.20.
"Just being at Indy is fantastic. Our performance wasn’t where we would like it to be obviously starting in the show in 14th and bowing out in the first round," Coughlin said. "It was great to cheer on my wife Samantha in Super Gas and brother Troy in Pro Modified. They both went to the final round. They both got beat in the finals but man what a great weekend for them and a great weekend for Team JEGS. I’m happy about that."
Despite today's early departure, Coughlin secured the No. 7 position in the NHRA playoffs, the Countdown to the Championship, which begins at the next event in Charlotte and continues through five more events concluding in Pomona, Calif. in November.
"Back to the Pro Stock side, this closes the season on the regular season," Coughlin, a 58-time NHRA national event winner, said. "We’ve got quite a bit of time between now and the first race in Charlotte, ten days or so. The team obviously has their work cut out for them to come up with a set up that will allow the cars to accelerate and make it all the way down the race track in front of the competition next to us. We're putting all of our faith in our championship team and looking to get on pace with that."
Coughlin will reach a milestone at the second event of the Countdown to the Championship in Reading, Penn. – He will race in his 400th Pro Stock event.