ST. LOUIS (May 6) — Two-time Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. scored his second runner-up finish of the season Sunday at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis, losing by one hundredth of a second to his Victor Cagnazzi Racing teammate Dave Connolly in the team’s first all-inclusive final.

“We couldn’t screw this one up no matter what happened,” Coughlin said. “What a great day for this race team and I’m so excited for Victor and Brita Cagnazzi. They’ve come a long way to get this first win and the fact we were able to start the party early with both Dave and I making it to the final was a bonus. What a perfect day for the team.

“This shows you what hard work and perseverance can produce. We’ve had top-four cars all year and we’re definitely letting those guys at KB Racing know we’re here to stay. My hats off to the guys at the shop and the ones that come on the road for giving Dave and I these two exceptional hot rods to drive.”

Coughlin drove like a 47-time national event winner Sunday, taking two of three wins on the way to the final on holeshots, which means he left the starting line ahead of his opponent and won even though the other car was slightly quicker. His first holeshot victim was Kurt Johnson, who he beat in the quarterfinals with a .038-second headstart, which carried him through with a winning 6.697 to Johnson’s losing 6.674.

He then beat class leader Greg Anderson in the semis with a near-perfect .004-second light to Anderson’s .027-second start. The margin of victory at the other end after Coughlin posted a 6.707 ahead of Anderson’s 6.690 was .0065 seconds, making it the closest race of the day.

Coughlin even got a jump on Connolly in the final, leaving in .015 seconds to Connolly’s .031 second reaction time, but Coughlin’s Slammers Ultimate Milk/ Chevrolet Cobalt got out of the groove just enough for him to lose momentum and let Connolly by for the win, 6.663 to 6.695.

“I felt very comfortable in the cockpit all day and that comes from have complete confidence in the team and the car they’re preparing for you,” the 36-year-old from Delaware, Ohio, said. “I wanted to win and I did everything I could to get it done, but if it wasn’t me, I’m glad it was Dave.”

Both Coughlin and Connolly passed reigning POWERade world champion Jason Line during Sunday’s action. Connolly moved up to second, 201 points behind Anderson. Coughlin is close behind, trailing Connolly by just five points.

The tour now takes a weekend off before heading to Bristol, Tenn., for race No. 8.

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