POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 14) — Four-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. entered race day at the season-opening 50th annual NHRA Winternationals with high hopes. But his aspirations were quickly dashed when his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt went sideways right off the launch pad of Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, resulting in an unexpected first-round loss to fellow Ohioan Larry Morgan.
“That’s about the last thing in the world I expected to have happen to us,” Coughlin said. “We had a top 3, 4 car all weekend, we came into race day as the No. 2 qualifier, and we saw a bunch of our competitors perform really well in front of us. We were definitely on a high. But drag racing can do this to you.
“We just missed the tune-up. The car made a wild move down low and there was just no catching Larry after that. We’ve got no one to blame but ourselves today so we’ll pick up the pieces and head to Phoenix next weekend and get this thing straightened out.”
The official numbers had Morgan crossing the finish line with a 6.702 at 206.39 mph, while Coughlin coasted through with a 11.876 at 76.45 mph.
Next up, the NHRA tour heads to Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix for the 26th annual Arizona NHRA Nationals.
Coughlin is the defending champion of the Phoenix race. He also won the event in 2000, the first year he became an NHRA champion at the professional level.
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