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Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Aaron Stanfield Lead Elite Motorsports with Semifinal Finishes at NHRA Arizona Nationals

Jeg Coughlin Jr. with SCAG Power Equipment / Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer and Aaron Stanfield with Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage / Melling Performance / Janac Brothers had semifinal exits to lead Elite Motorsports Sunday at the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird Motorsports Park.

Coming in as the No. 1 qualifier, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and the SCAG team worked their way past Matt Hartford with a 6.552-second pass at 210.11 mph to Hartford’s 7.538 at 157.28 in the first round. In the quarterfinals, Coughlin Jr. faced teammate Jerry Tucker in the Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer / SCAG car. Coughlin Jr. would have a 6.619 at 209.20 while Tucker had tire shake to go only 9.417 at 101.81.

The semifinals would be a clash of titans with Coughlin Jr. racing against veteran Greg Anderson. Coughlin Jr.’s SCAG car would run into trouble coasting to a 10.928 at 103.10 while Anderson had a clean 6.612 at 208.78.

“I can’t say we didn’t have a very productive and momentum building weekend for the SCAG Power Equipment Car. I felt great behind the wheel and I think Tim Freeman and Mark Ingersoll and the entire bank of Elite crew chiefs were doing a great job this weekend,” Coughlin Jr. said. “At the conclusion of qualifying we were on the poll for the first time since being back which felt fantastic. Then we kind of started to work our way through race day and just fell short to multi-time champ and rival Greg Anderson, so that was disappointing. But it’s not going to take away from the momentum we built here. So we’re looking forward to getting to four-wide racing next week in Vegas.”

On the other side of the ladder, Aaron Stanfield, qualified No. 7, would start his day with a 6.620 second pass at 209.52 mph to send home Kenny Delco and his 14.598 at 70.91. In the semifinals, Stanfield would have a monster matchup against six-time reigning world champion and teammate Erica Enders. Both JHG / Melling machines would shake the tires and both drivers would pedal it. It would be Stanfield who would get it hooked up in time for the win at 6.877 seconds and 197.94 mph while Enders recovered to a 7.076 at 207.05.

In the semifinals, Stanfield would lineup against rival Dallas Glenn. Stanfield would have the starting line advantage but the JHG car would rattle the tires to a 6.798 at 208,39, not enough for Glenn’s 6.635 at 208.42.

“We had some luck today when we needed it. That Firebird race track was really tricky. Two rounds we had to pedal our way down there,” Stanfield said. “We’re just going to shake this one off, we’re ready to move on and get to Vegas where we’ll get after it and try to get the job done.”

The Mission Foods NHRA Drag Racing Series season continues with the first of two four-wide events April 12-14 with the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

This story was originally published on April 8, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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