CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals
Numbers stacking up well for Coughlin
The Race Day draw pairs Coughlin against 22-year-old upstart Dave Connolly, who ran a best of 6.722 at 205.35 mph in qualifying. His superior elapsed time gives Connolly lane choice over Coughlin in the opening round of eliminations, although the new racing surface at Pomona Raceway hasn't shown a preferred lane through time trials.
Coughlin overcame two obstacles in making the field. First, a day-long rain shower Friday cancelled one qualifying session outright. Then his car shattered a rear end in his second attempt, crippling his car and zapping his elapsed time that round.
"We would have liked to have qualified higher than 13th but maybe that will end up being a lucky spot for us," Coughlin said. "Tomorrow is the 13th and my son Jeggie celebrates his birthday the day after that so we have some numbers stacking up in our favor. The main thing is that we're in, which is always the primary goal at each race."
Crew chief Bob Glidden and the rest of the Jeg's Mail Order crew had a busy day after the freakish rear end problem in the day's first attempt. The car basically had to be disassembled from the cockpit backwards after the round.
"We broke the axle on this thing in the first round today and had the complete back of the car apart between rounds," Coughlin said. "We just got it back together in time and probably missed a little bit on our final tune-up because we were under the gun a little bit. What a great effort by the gang. I knew I had a good group over here and they proved that again today. They did two day's work in two hours.
"Dave's a great driver and he's running strong. We'll have a true test from him, but the bottom line is that we're excited to be here and we'll be up to speed by the time the lights flash in the morning."
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