LAS VEGAS (April 5) — Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. took advantage of red-light starts by three of his four opponents Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to regain the No. 1 ranking in the world.

A winner earlier this year in Phoenix, Coughlin collected his second Wally of the year and 43rd of his career when final-round opponent Greg Stanfield left -.021 seconds before the green light came on. Coughlin still powered down the racetrack with a 6.715 at 205.16 mph in his Chevrolet Cobalt in what amounted to a victory lap before an appreciative crowd of supporters.

“It’s unusual to have three opponents foul out against you in one day,” Coughlin said. “I think everyone is just up on the wheel driving their heart’s out this year because everyone is running so well. Although it wasn’t one of our better days at the starting line today, we have had great luck at the tree this season and to see my win light come on as I reached for second gear in the final was great.”

It was a long and stressful day in the Victor Cagnazzi Racing pit area as the team actually had to make five runs. An errant piece of debris in the starting line beams in Coughlin’s first race against Kurt Johnson negated their first pass and put the team under a considerable time crunch to redo the match.

“I’m used to going multiple rounds on Sunday going back to my bracket racing days but we were definitely in hurry-up mode all day,” Coughlin said. “The NHRA guys dragged their feet as much as they could to give us some extra time and it all worked out, but the guys definitely earned their pay today.

“We had an extra large group rooting us on today. My good friends Doug Daniel and Heather Rickard got married last night. We flew over to the Grand Canyon on three helicopters and it was a very nice deal. To keep the celebration going with this win today was special.”

Including his sportsman wins, Coughlin now has 56 national event victories to his credit. He is also a five-time world champion with four Pro Stock titles and one Super Gas title on his resume. He won the last two pro Stock championships.

“It’s early in the year but we’re very pleased with how things have started out,” Coughlin said. “We’ve actually had a lot of work on our hands with this car but we have one of the best groups in all motorsports working on this thing and everyone has just stayed after it.”


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