Do-or-die race waiting for Coughlin
Las Vegas, Saturday: Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. has control of his own destiny. As the Countdown to One playoffs reach its' final stage with a two-race shootout to determine the 2007 champion, Coughlin can literally write his own championship tale as he'll open elimination action of the seventh annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals against fellow Countdown racer Allen Johnson. Should he win that match-up, Coughlin will most likely face teammate and current points leader Dave Connolly in the next round.
"We've got a great chance to make a move tomorrow," Coughlin said. "It'll be a tall order to get past Allen and should Dave be waiting for us in the second round, certainly he'll be tough as well, but this is a very unique opportunity to reach out and grab control of this thing."
Coughlin qualified ninth Saturday with an improved 6.752 at 204.51 mph in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt. He'll yield lane choice in the opening round to Johnson, who posted a 6.750 at 204.14 mph in the final qualifying session to skip past Coughlin.
"I'm not entirely comfortable with the way we're running right now because I know we can be better," Coughlin said. "But it's always like that. Even when you're No. 1 qualifier you can talk yourself into being nervous about something.
"When game day starts, we'll be ready to go. I said coming in that I felt we needed to win this race to stay alive for the championship. The way the ladder turned out we might not need to win the whole race but we certainly need to beat Allen and Dave. We've given up a round to Dave because he out-qualified us, so we have to make that up by beating him. It's an all or nothing day for us."
Coughlin is no stranger to race track pressure. He's won three world championships in his career as well as 50 national events. Only 11 people in the history of the sport have recorded 50 or more wins.
"I love it," Coughlin said. "This is why we race, for weekends like this."
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