BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 20) — Five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. raced to the final four at this Sunday’s 10th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals to maintain frontrunner status in the Pro Stock class.

Coughlin beat his first two opponents, Johnny Gray and Greg Stanfield, when they both left the starting line too soon and were disqualified. He then got a great jump against points leader Mike Edwards in the semifinals, leaving the line with a .013-second reaction time to Edwards’ .026-second start, but his Chevrolet Cobalt soon lost power and he could only watch as Edwards sped away for the win.

“We went through qualifying and came into race day thinking we had a car that could go rounds,” Coughlin said. “We looked at the data after first round and decided to change motors. We picked up a couple hundredths (of a second) in ET and some mph as well so we made the right call there. It was even showing we had some more in there.

“I got a little headstart in the semis and it felt good but something wasn’t quite right with the clutch and the gearings and we couldn’t stay with it. I’m real happy with the weekend as a whole. We wanted to win, of course, but we ran well for the most part.”

With five races left in the regular season, Coughlin remains third in the world rankings. He’s hoping to nudge Allen Johnson out of second place before the Countdown to 1 playoffs start, which would afford him a few extra markers when the points are reset prior to the final six races.

“The little struggles of the last few races seem to be gone,” he said. “We did a little bit of experimenting to find some things that might help us for the next race and for the rest of the regular season. We’re going home to Ohio next weekend and we’ve got another chance at a win plus a title to defend with the $50,000 K&N Horsepower Challenge. It should be a great time.”

Next weekend, Coughlin and the rest of the NHRA tour will race in Norwalk, Ohio, which is now the closest national event to his hometown of Delaware, Ohio.


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