TOPEKA, Kan. (June 3) — Another strong semifinal showing by Jeg Coughlin Jr. Sunday at Heartland Park Topeka kept the championship hopeful solidly in third place in the POWERade Drag Racing Series points. Coughlin crushed six-time series champ Warren Johnson and squeaked by V. Gaines before losing to top qualifier and points leader Greg Anderson with a red-light foul, meaning Coughlin left the Christmas Tree before the green light shined.

“I think that’s just the second legitimate red-light start I’ve had as a professional,” Coughlin said. “It’s a very close race between our two racecars and the two over there at KB Racing and I knew I’d need everything to beat Greg in the semis. We had the car set on kill and I was up for the race myself. I just let it go a little too early.”

Coughlin’s red-light came by a just two-thousandths of a second as he left in -.002. A perfect light is .000. It was a good gamble as Anderson went on to run the quickest and fastest pass in Heartland Park Topeka history, a whopping 6.682 at 207.24 mph.

“The top four cars in the class are mine and Dave (Connolly’s) and Greg and Jason (Line’s). As it turned out, the final four cars at this race were the same four cars and the final two were Dave and Greg, who are the top two in the points. It’s just so close between the four of us right now. It’s definitely some exciting racing going on.”

Earlier in the day, Coughlin annihilated Johnson with a 6.702 at 205.60 mph to Johnson’s 6.759 ay 205.32 mph. The race against Gaines was decided by just .016 seconds, which made it the closest of the day. Both men ran 6.72-second passes, but Coughlin’s 6.720 was enough to beat Gaines’ 6.724.

“The Cobalt is running like a top and the guys should be commended for their exceptional effort once again,” Coughlin said. “We’ll be racing again Friday in Chicago so we don’t have long to wait. I’m looking forward to the race up there and I know we’ll be ready to go.”

Up next is the ninth annual Torco Race Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. Coughlin has raced to four final rounds there and earned two victories.

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