ST. LOUIS (April 27) — Back-to-back and reigning Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. is off to one of the best starts of his illustrious career with two wins and four final-round showings in the season’s first six races. Yet the current Full Throttle point leader says his Chevrolet Cobalt can and will get quicker as the year progresses.

“We started the year with a new car and the guys at Victor Cagnazzi Racing have been working around the clock to make it the best it can be,” Coughlin said. “We’ve already seen some of the fruits of their labor but I think everyone on this team firmly believes we can get better.

“You don’t make huge moves with a Pro Stock car, in the chassis set-up or the engine compartment, and you certainly don’t tinker too much with a car that’s been going rounds at every race because that’s always our goal. Yet, we still have sessions where we could be more efficient. That’s all part of the Pro Stock game.”

Coughlin has collected three of his 56 career victories at Gateway International Raceway, the site of this weekend’s 13th annual O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals, including two Super Stock titles in 1997 and ’03, and the Pro Stock crown in 2002. He also scored runner-up finishes under the famed arch in ’98 and ’07, both in Pro Stock.

“When I think of St. Louis I always remember the wins, but even more so I think about some of the best fans on the circuit,” Coughlin said. “They really understand and appreciate our class and that’s a kick for those of us that live it every day.

“We’ve had a great start to the season and it’s fun to be the point leader coming into this race. It’s the seventh race on the schedule and they say seven is a lucky number so maybe that will play into our favor. If we just keep doing what we’re doing and peck away at this thing, we should be just fine.”

Friday’s opening two qualifying sessions are scheduled for 2:30 and 5:30 p.m.


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