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NHRA Pro Stock - Coughlin Clears First Hurdle, Qualifies For Vegas Eliminations

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LAS VEGAS, Apr. 1, 2012: Jeg Coughlin Jr. and the Dodge Avenger rebounded nicely on Saturday to qualify No. 9 in Pro Stock for Sunday's eliminations at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The team didn't qualify last time out, but Coughlin said everybody buckled down in between races and got the car headed back in the right direction.

"Gainesville is behind us, and we made some great momentum testing in Charlotte before this race," Coughlin said. "It didn't solve all our problems, because we're still looking for that something that will help our acceleration to the first 100 or 150 feet, but we're doing better for sure."

Coughlin turned in a best lap of 6.713 seconds at 205.57 mph.

"We're working hard on getting the engine and chassis to work together," Coughlin said. "But it's still the best start we've had this season going into a Sunday program. We're ready to do battle, I can promise you that."

The weather conditions are expected to make a change for the cooler on Sunday, which Coughlin said could help his cause.

"It's not going to be mineshaft conditions by any means," Coughlin said. "However the cooler air will be nice and the Pro Stock cars will love the cool air. It might change everybody's tune-up, and it might be enough to pep up our car, because we are a little lazy right now."

Coughlin draws No. 8 qualifier Vincent Nobile, who had a best pass of 6.706 at 205.94 mph.

"We'll have a knockdown, drag out race right off the jump," Coughlin said. "Vince does an excellent job. But this JEGS/Mopar Avenger team is hungry. We're wanting to rebound and show off a little tomorrow.

"It might take a miracle to pull off a lot of round wins tomorrow, but anything's possible – we are in Vegas."

Eliminations at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway get under way at 11 a.m. PDT.