NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
50th anniversary NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Indianapolis Raceway Park
Sept. 6, 2004
Team JEG'S - Pro Stock
Jeg Coughlin, Jr.
Race Day Summary
Jeg Coughlin exited the 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in the semifinal round after coming up on the wrong end of the closest professional-level drag race of the event. Coughlin was edged by eventual winner Greg Anderson by six-thousandths of a second, or about 24 inches, with Anderson posting a 6.838-second quarter-mile pass to Coughlin's 6.866-second attempt.
Coughlin made it close by bolting from the starting line with a quick .032-second reaction time against Anderson's .054-second start, but Anderson's hot rod was quick enough on this day to track down Coughlin and his Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier and pass for the win, his 13th of the season.
The day started well as Coughlin, a two-time Indy champion, schooled young gun Dave Connolly by a 6.823-second to 6.881-second margin. In the quarterfinals, Coughlin lined-up against old foe Warren Johnson, a six-time series champion with 92 national event wins. This one belonged to Coughlin, as he cruised to a 6.852 at 201.70 mph to knock-out Johnson's 6.886 at 200.68 mph.
This historic weekend was an unqualified success for Coughlin. Aside from his second consecutive final four finish in Pro Stock, he managed to win the Mopar Performance Parts Super Stock Hemi Challenge by taking out class veteran Rick Houser in the finals by just one hundredth of a second. Coughlin was racing in Super Stock, a class where he's scored seven of his 45 national event wins in the past, in Michael Ogburn and Harry Holton's world-record-holding West Coast Hemis 1968 Plymouth Barracuda.
"We had a pretty good weekend all-in-all," explained Jeg. "There is a lot of emotion involved with how well you do at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. It's a race you always want to win at any level. Winning this race in the past makes you understand the true power of winning the most prestigious event in drag racing."
The POWERade Drag Racing Series takes a weekend off before heading to Reading, Pa., for the 20th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. Coughlin has won there before, scoring a victory during the 1999 running of the event.
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