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Mar 30, 2014 - 04:54 AM
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2014 NHRA: Coughlin Secures 20th Pole Position Of Distinguished Career
Posted by: newsla on Mar 30, 2014 - 04:53 AM
2014 NHRA: Coughlin Secures 20th Pole Position Of Distinguished Career

JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. earned the 20th No. 1 qualifier of his illustrious career, claiming the top spot at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday.


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The official pole-winning time for Coughlin was 6.625 seconds at 208.78 mph, secured in Friday's second session.

The No. 1 qualifier offset a second-round loss Saturday to Erica Enders-Stevens in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, which also served as Q4 for this weekend's national event.

"We're really proud to hold on to the No. 1 position," Coughlin said. "We're honored to receive the bonus from K&N and NHRA. It really shows quite a bit for our team. We've been hustling a lot the last month and a half getting these new cars ready and starting the new season."

The J&J Racing team debuted a new Dodge Dart for Gainesville at the previous race, which was won by Coughlin's teammate, Allen Johnson. The new Dart now has a victory and a No. 1 qualifier in two races.

Plus, Coughlin had the top e.t. of the Pro Stock class in Q4 with a pass of 6.642 seconds at 208.88 mph.

"We had a great ride today but just gave it up second round to Erica in the Horsepower Challenge," Coughlin said. "That was a bummer, but we were low for the round, and that gives us more data to prepare this car for race day."

Coughlin, a five-time Pro Stock winner in Las Vegas, made four solid passes in qualifying, all within .017-second. Conditions changed from Friday to Saturday, and Coughlin's team made numerous changes to the new Dart.

"We made quite a few adjustments coming into today, and for the Horsepower Challeng, we made some more adjustments being first pair," Coughlin said. "We were really happy with the results and the performance of the car. We'll tuck that in our hat and get ready for tomorrow."

Conditions should be cooler on Sunday, when five-time Pro Stock champion Coughlin squares off against Mark Wolfe, who qualified No. 16 with a pass of 6.724 seconds at 205.69 mph.

"If things play out the way the forecast looks, we'll likely have a lot cooler weather for tomorrow, which will return us back to more of a Friday-type setup," Coughlin said. "We changed the car quite a bit from Friday to today. It was a lot warmer, and the track was a little bit different.

"We're really happy with the cars. Both Allen's and mine have run really well, and to be No. 1 is great."

Final eliminations start at noon PST on Sunday. ESPN2 will air eliminations at 8 p.m. EDT.

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