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Mar 31, 2014 - 10:06 AM
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2014 NHRA: Coughlin Drops Close Race In Las Vegas Second Round
Posted by: newsla on Mar 31, 2014 - 10:04 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Coughlin Drops Close Race In Las Vegas Second Round


The way the competition in Pro Stock is, JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. said to expect more close races like his second-round defeat against Jimmy Alund at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday.

 

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With a pass of 6.653 seconds at 207.82 mph, Coughlin came up .0028-second short of advancing to the semifinals.

"That's going to be a commonality this year," Coughlin said. "We're going to win a lot of races by a few thousandths, and if we get eliminated it's probably going to be a thousandth of a second. That's how tight things are right now.

"We'll get it cleaned up and be ready for the next go."

Coughlin was disappointed in himself, too, because he had a .062-second reaction time, compared to Alund's .024 light and pass of 6.689 at 206.92 mph. That run came after Coughlin and the team dodged a bullet in the first round with a 6.697 at 207.88 mph that knocked out Mark Wolfe.

"We came back and analyzed the data and made quite a few adjustments to the chassis and to the car itself," Coughlin said. "The car was a little bit happier, but we just didn't get away with it, plain and simple. I wasn't real happy with my reaction time there, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one. We'll have to rebound and get back at it soon."

Coughlin earned his 20th career No. 1 qualifier on Saturday -- in the second race with his new Dodge Dart -- and carried a lot of confidence into Sunday's eliminations.

"We had a good car, and we were pretty fast on Friday and pretty fast on Saturday," Coughlin said. "Coming into Sunday, we had another element of changes with the car's setup."

Coughlin and his J&J Racing team also had to deal with a long delay Sunday, as 35-mph wind forced NHRA to postpone the first round of Pro Stock until around 4 p.m. Pacific time. Coughlin agreed with the decision, saying his Dart likely could have handled the high winds, but it was better to err on the side of safety.

When he did run against No. 16 qualifier Wolfe, the wind that blew across the track near the finish line was still powerful.

"The last 400 feet that crosswind was really trying to push it hard, and I had the wheel turned a pretty good ways, more than I anticipated," Coughlin said.

Against Wolfe, Coughlin's car had trouble early in the run, but he recovered to get the win, thanks in part to Wolfe's slowing pass of 12.622 seconds at 68.35 mph.

"The car felt pretty decent down low the first 20, 30 feet, and then it just clipped the tire off real hard," Coughlin said. "I got it into second and third gear and was fortunate to turn on the win light."

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