Coughlin Has Crucial First round Matchup Sunday In Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, Sept. 19, 2010: It doesn't matter how well you qualify, it matters where you finish, just ask Jeg Coughlin Jr., who has won an NHRA Pro Stock race from all 16 qualifying positions during his storied career.
"That's going to have to be our motto tomorrow, because we've struggled this weekend," Coughlin said. "We've been in this position several times before during our career. It's not a place you want to be during the Countdown, but our hopes are extremely high."
Coughlin and the JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt will have their fate in their hands during Sunday's first round of eliminations at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at zMax Dragway. Coughlin qualified No. 15 in the field and faces No. 2 qualifier and current points leader, Mike Edwards, in the first round of eliminations. If Coughlin takes out Edwards, it would shake up the Pro Stock standings considerably.
"Starting from the 15th spot you know you are going to have a bad dude first round no matter what," Coughlin said. "The top five or six cars typically have their act together at all times. We'll have a tough run for our money, but I'm optimistic about it." Coughlin qualified with a best pass of 6.656 seconds at 207.82 mph, while Edwards' best effort was a 6.607 at 209.79 mph. Coughlin said the team has been chasing mechanical gremlins all weekend, but it looked like Saturday was a step in the right direction.
"We changed the motor this morning," Coughlin said on Saturday. "The car was just wide open – it was ready to run. Our setup was too aggressive for this newfound power. We've got a car that can run to the front tomorrow, there's no question about that.
"It's the Countdown everybody is going to have their A-game going."
Eliminations for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals begin at noon (EDT) from zMax Dragway. ESPN2's coverage begin coverage is scheduled to air at 7 p.m., but ESPN3.com will provide live streaming coverage of all of Sunday's racing.