Pro Stock Driver Coughlin is Top Mopar as No.2 Qualifier at NHRA Midwest Nationals
· Mopar’s Jeg Coughlin Jr earns Pro Stock No.2 qualifier position for third annual AAA Insurance National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Midwest Nationals near St. Louis
· Allen Johnson seeded seventh for Sunday Pro Stock eliminations at Gateway Motorsports Park
· Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) quartet of Funny Car drivers qualify sixth through ninth led by Tommy Johnson Jr.’s Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T
Madison, Illinois (Sept. 27, 2014) – Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. was the top Mopar in final qualifying as he drove his JEGS.com Dodge Dart to No.2 qualifier position at the third annual AAA Insurance National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis, Missouri, in preparation for the third of six playoff nationals events in the NHRA “Countdown to the Championship”.
The Mopar Dodge Darts were strong in the Saturday qualifying with both Coughlin and his Johnson & Johnson HEMI-powered teammate Allen Johnson gaining valuable points in the Countdown with top-three runs in the final two sessions. Coughlin put his JEGS.com Mopar in the second spot on the time sheets in the third qualifying session of the weekend with a 6.532-second elapsed time run at 211.66 mile per hour, while Johnson was right behind him in his “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” machine with the third quickest run of Q3 by posting a 6.536/211.93.
Coughlin improved again in the final session by running the second quickest time once again with a 6.522/212.53 to put him in the No.2 spot on the Pro Stock eliminations ladder. He’ll be paired up against Deric Kramer and his HEMI-powered Dodge Avenger in the first round of Sunday’s Midwest Nationals.
Even after improving his elapsed time with the fifth quickest run of the final session, Johnson was seeded seventh by running a 6.531/212.26 to meet up with Richie Stevens as his first round opponent.
After difficulties on his first three passes, V. Gaines got in a good run with his Dodge Avenger to move up into the 12 spot in qualifying with a 6.565/211.00 lap. He’ll have Shane Gray in the opposing lane for his first round of eliminations. The top spot in Pro Stock qualifying was taken by Erica Enders-Stevens who was quickest in all four sessions and earned the No.1 seed with a 5.511/213.03.
Don Schumacher Racing’s (DSR) Funny Car foursome of Dodge Charger R/T drivers qualified sixth through ninth with Tommy Johnson Jr. leading his teammates. The Make-A-Wish Mopar driver earned the sixth spot on the eliminations ladder with his best run of 4.053/ 315.78 from Friday and is hoping to go rounds on Sunday to move up from his sixth place standing in the Countdown points. Tommy Johnson Jr. will be matched-up with Tim Wilkerson in the first round of eliminations.
Matt Hagan’s Mopar Express Lane machine, which has already made a trip to the winner’s circle in the Countdown, improved to a 4.071/315.49 to earn the seventh seeded position on the ladder. Hagan will have Alexis DeJoria as his opening round opponent as he tries to move up from his third place spot in the championship standings.
DSR’s Ron Capps ran his quickest lap of the weekend in Q3, the third best of the session with a 4.125/302.35 lap, to earn a valuable bonus point to his fifth place ranking in the battle for the 2014 Funny Car Championship and make the top half of the 16-car eliminations ladder with a eighth place seeding. His first round opponent will be his Mopar teammate Jack Beckman, whose best effort of 4.078/311.49 in the second session put him in the ninth spot on the qualifying sheets.
A fifth Dodge Charger R/T will be on the eliminations ladder in 15th place as Jeff Arend qualified with a best pass of 4.169/304.67 and will have Cruz Pedregon to contend in the first round. The No.1 seed for Funny Car eliminations was earned by 16-time NHRA Champion John Force with a 4.022 elapsed time run at 319.52 mph
In NHRA Sportsman racing at the Midwest Nationals, among 61 Stock Eliminator class entrants, Luke Ubelhor secured the No.1 Qualifier position in his 5.7L 2009 Challenger Drag Pak with manual transmission by running a 10.360-second elapsed time pass. In eliminations, Ubelhor advanced to the second round where he saw hopes of a title win end with a loss to Brina Splingaire.