POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 7) — Auto Club Raceway in Pomona always has been a favorite spot for six-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. who has amassed six of his 76 career victories at the historic facility on the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds.
With the 53rd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals on tap this weekend, Coughlin is hoping to find some more Pomona magic to close out 2017 with a long-awaited victory.
"Let's finish this season off in style with a big win," Coughlin said. "Of course, as soon as we do that we start talking about next season. Fortunately for me, drag racing seasons always start and end in Pomona, which is one of my favorite places on earth.
"The history of the facility, the excitement that comes with both races here — be it the start of a new year or the crowning of our champions — always makes this an event where the emotions are running high. We've had great fortune here in the past and we'd love to recreate some of that and return to the winner's circle again."
Coughlin has reason to be excited as he's coming off his best qualifying effort of the second half of the season at the last tour stop in Las Vegas.
"We had a promising start to the year and raced to a few finals and racked up a few low qualifiers but the second half turned into a struggle for us so it was great to see us rebound a bit in Vegas and get that No. 5 spot in the elimination field," he said. "We feel like the car is there. We're supposed to have Chamber of Commerce-type weather in Pomona so if we can cross all our t's and dot all our i's we may be able to surprise some folks."
Six of Coughlin's 58 Pro Stock wins have come at Pomona, including victories at the season-opening Winternationals in 1999 and 2000 and the Finals in 1995, 2005 and 2007. He also won a special 50th anniversary event held in Pomona during the summer of 2001. In addition to his Pro Stock wins and seven runner-up results in the class, Coughlin was runner-up in Super Stock in Pomona during the 1995 Winternationals.
"More than anything, I'd like to win one for the team," Coughlin said. "These guys in the yellow and black shirts have busted their knuckles for us all year and it would be very rewarding for me personally to share the winner's circle with them. We'll certainly do all we can to make it happen."
Prior to the event, Coughlin will compete alongside many of his peers in the sold-out ninth annual Racers For Christ Golf Tournament, beginning at 11 a.m., Wednesday, at Mountain Meadows Golf Course in Pomona.
Pro Stock qualifying sessions are scheduled for 12 and 2:45 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Eliminations begin at noon, Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will carry the first day qualifying action live from 3:30-4:30 p.m., Friday. The network also will air the second day of qualifying from 3-4 p.m., Saturday. Live eliminations will air from 1-4 p.m., Sunday. (All times are local and subject to change.)