NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
NHRA Sears Craftsman Nationals
Gateway International Raceway
Madison, IL (St. Louis)
June 26th

Jeg Coughlin – JEG’S Mail Order / Mopar – Dodge Stratus RT
Race Day Summary

Jeg Coughlin’s bid for a second Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals title was halted in the quarterfinal round of eliminations when he bowed out to back-to-back champion Greg Anderson by two-hundredths of a second, or about the length of a fender. Although he didn’t win, Coughlin’s weekend was a partial success as he managed to move up one position in the POWERade championship points to the seventh slot overall. The NHRA tour now takes a three-week summer break.

“Any time you move up the sheet instead of down, it’s a good thing,” Coughlin said. “You have to win rounds every race and we got one today so we’re happy about that. Of course you want to win it all but the guys are going to take this little break and go do some testing in Denver so we should be quicker and faster when we start back up.”

The No. 7 qualifier after posting a 6.785 at 202.79 mph during time trails, Coughlin used an impressive .035- to .064-second reaction time advantage at the start of his opening-round race against Vieri Gaines to steal a victory by the same margin he lost the next race. Coughlin beat Gaines with a 6.823 at 203.03 mph to Gaines’ quicker but losing 6.805 at 203.28 mph.

“We knew V. would run better then he had shown in qualifying so we were all amped-up for the race,” Coughlin said. “It was still brutally hot at the time so I commend the guys on having this car set up so competitively.”

Coughlin got another early jump on Anderson the quarterfinal round, but his he managed to catch and pass him during the quarter-mile, winning with a 6.782 at 203.58 mph to Coughlin’s 6.813 at 202.48 mph.

“We probably needed to rev it up a little more,” Coughlin said. “Hopefully this young team will continue to grow and our second half of the season will be memorable. We’re methodically making our way up the standings. I like the direction of this group.”

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