DENVER (July 12) — Back-to-back world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. raced to the semifinals of the 30th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals and beat second-place runner Mike Edwards along the way to increase his lead in the Full Throttle Pro Stock points to 83.

“It was a great day; it just ended a little bit too soon,” Coughlin said. “Any time you get past a mountain like Mike Edwards you’ve really accomplished something and the fact he is the next guy behind us in the points made that round win very, very important.”

Driving his familiar yellow and black Chevrolet Cobalt, Coughlin opened with a big holeshot victory over fellow Ohioan Larry Morgan. Following a familiar pattern this season, Coughlin left with a great .010-second reaction time ahead of Morgan’s .030-second start and then successfully held off his rival to win with a slightly slower 7.036 at 195.93 mph to Morgan’s 7.023 at 194.58 mph. The final margin of victory was .007 seconds.

The monster match-up with top qualifier Edwards was next, but this one was over at the starting line when Edwards left one-thousandth of a second too soon, lighting the red light for an automatic disqualification. This was the third time this year that Edwards has lost to Coughlin by fouling out at the start.

Up next, Coughlin faced Jason Line. Once again, Coughlin cut a better light — .008 to .030 — but this time Line was able to track down Coughlin and pass him for the win, running a 7.005 at 196.33 mph to Coughlin’s 7.039 at 195.70. It was Line’s first win over Coughlin since April of 2008.

“The sun heated the track up a little more than we thought,” Coughlin said. “About three-quarters of the way through first gear it started to spin the tires so I grabbed second a tad early. That probably cost us a hundredth of a second and that’s how much he beat us by so hat’s off to Jason and we’ll move on to Seattle.

“We got a lot of good data this weekend and now we’ll be back at sea-level racetracks where we’re more comfortable running these naturally-aspirated racecars. We’re excited for Seattle and I’m glad we’ll be racing again this Friday.”


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