NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
50th anniversary NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Indianapolis Raceway Park
Sept. 5, 2004
Team JEG'S - Pro Stock
Jeg Coughlin, Jr.
Sunday Qualifying Summary
Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin will begin his march towards a third Mac Tools U.S. Nationals victory Monday with the fastest car on the elimination ladder. Coughlin, who won drag racing's biggest and most prestigious event in his championship years of 2000 and 2002, ended time trails fourth overall with a best pass of 6.805 seconds at 202.39 mph. But it was Coughlin's top-speed clocking of 202.76 mph from another session that made him the fastest driver at the world's biggest drag race, the first time this year he's earned top speed of the meet honors.
"We like where we're at," Jeg said. "We didn't improve our standing today but we were in the top grouping of cars in both rounds so we feel like we know what we need to do tomorrow. Winning this race would be very special for the entire Jeg's organization.
"They shuffled the schedule around a little on us today but I was glad because we ended up running right after the fuel cars, which is exactly the way we do it on race day so I feel like we collected some really good data. We'll be ready for the fight."
Coughlin's already had a great weekend, winning Friday's Mopar Performance Parts Super Stock Hemi Challenge in Michael Ogburn and Harry Holton's West Coast Hemis 1968 Plymouth Barracuda. But now the Jeg's Mail Order pro shifts his attention to drag racing's ultimate single race prize -- the U.S. Nationals Wally trophy.
Winning Indy will be hard-earned as Coughlin starts with a tough draw against red-hot racer Dave Connolly, who qualified 13th with a 6.832 at 201.16 mph. Fortunately for the yellow and black camp, Coughlin holds the advantage of picking his lane in the race.
"Everyone in the field is tough," Jeg said. "It's Indy and everyone goes for broke here. That's what makes winning this race all the more special. The two Pro Stock wins we earned here are at the top of my list of racing accomplishments. I'd love to add another one tomorrow."
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