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Coughlin Up To The Challenge

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 27 2009
Mike Neff nailed the No. 1 Funny Car qualifying spot in Norwalk.

Mike Neff nailed the No. 1 Funny Car qualifying spot in Norwalk.


Jeg Coughlin drove his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt to the $50,000 K&N Horsepower Challenge victory Saturday at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

In other racing, Larry Dixon, Neff, Greg Anderson and Andrew Hines claimed No. 1 qualifying positions and will lead their respective categories into tomorrow’s 11 a.m. eliminations for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. It is the 12th of 24 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

It was the third win for Coughlin in the special bonus event for the eight quickest Pro Stock teams from the last year.

Coughlin, from Delaware, Ohio, covered the quarter-mile distance in 6.675 seconds at 207.05 mph in his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt to beat Greg Anderson, who posted a performance of 7.322 at 161.69 in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP.

“Lately, it’s just been a combination of running good and getting the breaks when we need them. The car fishtailed down the track in the second round, and I’m amazed that we were able to hold on. We were also able to win without having lane choice all day, which was a plus. There’s not that much difference between the lanes, but the right lane [where he had to run] is a little bit trickier between 60 feet and 200 feet.”

In Top Fuel, Dixon held top qualifying honors for his 3rd of the season, and 34th of his career with a performance of 3.882 at 301.74 mph in his Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing dragster.

On his No. 1 qualifying position — “It’s nice, obviously,” said Dixon. “It gives you lane choice and you get to draw what pair, so that really helps. Like I talked about yesterday, it’s just watching the track temperature and trying to adjust for it and trying to make the best run you can under whatever track conditions are given us.”

Funny Car’s Mike Neff earned his first No. 1 qualifying effort of the season, and third of his career with a performance of 419.0 at 279.93 mph in his Ford Drive One Mustang Funny Car.

“We were still able to learn something today and got a lot of information that will help us out tomorrow,” said Neff. “We didn’t make it down the track on our last pass, we needed to learn our boundaries and where we can’t go tomorrow. We feel good so far.”

In Pro Stock, Anderson raced to his 72nd career No. 1 and third of the season, driving his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a category-best time of 6.644 at 207.34.

“We feel that the recent changes we’ve made to the car, a lot of which resulted from our testing in similar conditions in Martin, Mich., earlier this week, helped us straighten things out,” said Anderson. “I can’t wait to get back into the car tomorrow and do a better job than we did today.”

Hines earned a 26th No. 1 qualifying position of his career in Pro Stock Motorcycle, setting a new track record with the quickest time of 6.944 at 192.28 mph on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. The track record for quickest time was previously held by Matt Smith (June 2007).

In addition, the track record for fastest run was set by Hector Arana at 192.63 mph breaking a previous record set by Craig Treble (June 2007).

“It feels good having the No. 1 qualifier under my belt,” said Hines. “The Screamin’ Eagle bike hasn’t been up to par the last few races; the 20 pounds really hurt us and threw us for a curve. Now we’re starting to get a handle on it and the tune-up is coming around with it.”

– Courtesy the NHRA

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 27 2009
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