BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 18) – As Jeg Coughlin Jr. pondered the performance of his Magneti Marelli offered by Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Dart at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals on Saturday at Bristol Dragway, young daughter Carly nuzzled his cheek.
Carly, born to Jeg and Samantha Coughlin in 2015, is more than enough to brighten his day.
"It's very cool," Coughlin said. "Not to steal my father's phrase, but every day feels like Father's Day with two great kids like (son) Jeggie and Carly. It's good to be in Bristol, and it's great to have Carly with us here. I know Jeggie's with us in spirit. He's always been one of my biggest fans, without question."
Father's Day is always a special time for the Coughlin family, as patriarch Jeg Coughlin Sr. has inspired a drag racing tradition that is unmatched in the sport. In that spirit, Coughlin's yellow-and-red Dodge is carrying the hashtag #AllAboutDad on the nose. That's in honor of Father's Day and a special campaign between JEGS High Performance and Dockers.
Coughlin will start Father's Day from the No. 12 position and will battle No. 3 Bo Butner in the first round.
"We're trying to turn the momentum on our performance here," Coughlin said. "We're still plugging away at it. Nothing monumental has shown its face, but we've done some things to both cars here that has at least got the engine itself repeating. Repeating is good, because now we can peck away at that and also fine-tune the car setup without major changes."
Coughlin's Dodge picked up two consecutive sessions Saturday, improving from a 6.775-second pass Friday to 6.768 seconds in Q3 to his official qualifying pass of 6.755 seconds at 204.57 mph.
"We can probably run a couple hundredths quicker than we're showing," Coughlin said. "We look to come out tomorrow and try and put a good effort forward and learn from what we've done the last two runs. We changed quite a bit of our philosophy coming into today, and it ran fairly decent, so we're going to peck away at that and see if we can have a little better car tomorrow."
Butner's best qualifying lap was 6.689 seconds at 209.26 mph.