GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14) — After a strong third-place qualifying effort and a big first-round win over Phoenix finalist Bob Yonke, four-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. thought his team had finally sorted out his Chevrolet Cobalt. But a disappointing Round 2 loss to Greg Anderson Sunday afternoon at the 41st annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals brought question marks back to the team.

“Never for one second did I expect this car to shake the tires like that,” Coughlin said of the main issue that lost him the round. “We were fully expecting another 6.55 out of this thing and as consistent as it had been yesterday and this morning, we were ready for a long day at the track. We thought our consistency was back.”

In Saturday’s qualifying action, Coughlin ran two 6.55-second passes, the best of which was a 6.551 at 210.90 mph. He then had a 6.559 at 211.73 mph in beating Round 1 opponent Yonke’s 6.563 at 210.34 mph.

But in the quarterfinals, moments after he and Anderson carded identical .012-second reaction times, Coughlin’s car couldn’t find any traction and he was forced to abort the run outright.

“I left the line and almost immediately pulled second gear because I could feel the tires shaking, but it was already too far gone,” the 48-time Pro Stock winner said. “I went ahead and banged it through the gears but we’d lost all momentum by then and Greg was putting up a good run (6.587 at 210.60 mph) in the other lane so I pushed in the clutch.

“We prepped for the track being a little hotter and thought we had made all the proper adjustments, but the car was having none of it. We’ll have to work hard to get this thing figured out for Charlotte.”

After qualifying his Camaro for the first race of the 2010 NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series in the No. 11 position with a 5.998 at 216.34 mph, Jeg’s older brother Troy Coughlin went out quietly in the first round of eliminations with a red-light disqualification for jumping the green light. His opponent, Kenny Lang, might have been tough to beat any way as he posted a 5.860 at 244.92 mph.


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