ATLANTA (April 20) — Full Throttle points leader Jeg Coughlin Jr. finished the rain-plagued Atlanta race on Monday morning as runner-up to veteran Mike Edwards. The final round needed an extra day to be completed after on-and-off rain showers wreaked havoc on the Sunday schedule. Nevertheless, Coughlin’s fourth final-round showing of the year helped him pad his lead in the Full Throttle points to 30 over Jason Line.

“This was our fourth final round in six events,” Coughlin said. “We had a very productive week and need to keep the momentum going.”

Starting eliminations Sunday morning as the No. 5 qualifier, Coughlin opened with a convincing win over Vieri Gaines as he drove his Chevrolet Cobalt through a 6.648 at 208.10 mph to Gaines’ trailing 6.712 at 206.39 mph.

In the quarterfinals, Coughlin faced former Sportsman star Rodger Brogdon, who recently became an engine customer of Victor Cagnazzi Racing. Knowing exactly what Brogdon had under the hood, Coughlin jumped off the line a hundredth of a second ahead of his foe and never looked back, taking the win with a 6.646 at 207.69 mph to Brogdon’s 6.668 at 207.40 mph.

The titanic match-up of the race came in the semifinal when Coughlin matched-up with low qualifier Greg Anderson, a three-time world champion. After running identical elapsed times to reach the semis, the race between Coughlin and Anderson seemed destined to be decided at the Christmas Tree and it was, with Coughlin squeezing the trigger .011 seconds ahead of Anderson to take a holeshot win by .006 seconds. The final numbers had Coughlin crossing with a 6.637 at 207.56 mph to Anderson’s quicker but losing 6.632 at 208.14 mph.

“We definitely get up on the wheel when we race each other,” Coughlin said. “He’s one of the guys that will be there fighting for the championship at the end of the year and it’s always big when you can chalk up a win over that group.”

The final was conducted before a sparse but enthusiastic Monday morning gathering, who watched Edwards take the win with a 6.645 at 208.17 mph to Coughlin’s slowing 7.190 at 155.11 mph.

“There’s not much you can do about the weather but God bless these Atlanta fans who stuck it out with us this weekend,” Coughlin said. “I hope we gave them a good show.”

Coughlin and crew will have a weekend off before traveling to Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis on May 1-3 for the 13th annual O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals.


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