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Aug 17, 2014 - 06:38 AM
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2014 NHRA: Lucas Oil Pro Morgan Gets Another Match-Up With Reigning Champ Coughlin
Posted by: newsla on Aug 17, 2014 - 06:34 AM
2014 NHRA: Lucas Oil Pro Morgan Gets Another Match-Up With Reigning Champ Coughlin

Lucas Oil Ford Pro Stock driver Larry Morgan posted his best qualifying effort of the last eight races by snaring the No. 12 spot for the 33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.


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And for his troubles, Morgan gets fellow Ohioan Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the first round of eliminations - for the third time in the last six races. Coughlin, the reigning Pro Stock world champion, qualified No. 5 with a pass of 6.636 at 207.91 mph.

"I love Jeg and I love racing with him, and we sure have seen a lot of him lately," Morgan said. "That hasn't always been a good thing but I think it's about time we beat him. We're certainly going to give it hell."

Morgan's best pass of the weekend so far has been a 6.723 at 206.04 mph. His two other runs were within .009 seconds of that, so the veteran racer has at least had a consistent race car this weekend.

He hoped to go even quicker in the final qualifying session Saturday, but a balky clutch in Q3 prevented a chance at improvement. Morgan still made a decent run, despite the fact the clutch was slipping the entire length of the quarter mile.

"It burned up the clutch in the water box on Q3," Morgan said. "We're not sure why, but we did the burnout and blew the clutch out. We put the chip up 300 rpms just to get it to leave, and when we got back to the pit after the run, the clutch was toast, which I knew would be the case based on how the car felt.

"It shouldn't have run as well as it did. We were thinking we'd run well and maybe it would have been better than the (6.723) but the slippage negated any chance of that. Either way, we've made progress, and we'll be okay."

Once Morgan and his crew got back to their pit area, they had trouble getting a new clutch in the race car in time for Q4.

"We put a new unit in, but we had trouble getting it installed," Morgan said. "We sure tried. We were banging stuff, throwing things around, but we didn't make it in time."

NHRA officials waited until the last possible moment, but Morgan couldn't make the call.

"We were hoping we could see the potential of the car with that run," Morgan said. "I guess we'll see the potential tomorrow when we beat Jeg."

Qualifying action from BIR will air at 10 p.m. CT, Saturday, on ESPN2. Pro Stock eliminations begin at noon, Sunday, with ESPN2 airing all the action in tape-delay beginning at 8 p.m. CT.

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