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Jeg Coughlin Jr. No. 1 at NHRA Arizona Nationals; Erica Enders Wins #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, Runners-Up at Winternationals

On an unusually busy Saturday at Firebird Motorsports Park, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and the SCAG Power Equipment/Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer machine qualified No. 1 for the NHRA Arizona Nationals while Erica Enders and her Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage/Melling performance/SCAG Power Equipment team won the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge and finished runner-up in the postponed NHRA Winternationals

Coughlin Jr. rallied to his first qualifying position of the season, 35th of his career and second at Firebird Motorsports Park with an impressive 6.517-second pass at 210.64 mph during the final qualifying session.

“Feels great to have this No. 1. It’s a big testament to the Elite team. We have eight cars on property, it’s one thing to keep them going straight but it’s another thing to have, as many of them as we do, running as well as they are,” Coughlin Jr. said. “To be on the poll in just third event back in the seat with this SCAG Power Equipment / Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer car feels fantastic. I had my hands full on that first run but it was a good run. The car was amazing and was moving through all the gears. In Q2 we came back and were quickest and made a great run that we were able to pull more data from. The Elite crew chief bank gave us a little more in that final session. I could feel it. It felt really really good and we’re jelling together as a team. It takes time and grunt work to get things working and I think we’re there. We would love nothing more than to carry this over to Sunday and get four more win lights.”

In the first qualifying try, Coughlin Jr. had a 6.528 pass at 211.33 that put him No. 2. The SCAG team followed it up with a 6.531 at 211.00 that was low of the second session before they took the No. 1 spot and earned a matchup with Matt Hartford in the first round of eliminations.

Erica Enders’ first qualifying session doubled as the first round of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge. Enders and the JHG/Melling/SCAG team would line up against Greg Anderson in a rematch from the semifinals of the Winternationals and laid down a stout 6.518 second pass at 210.90 mph defeating Anderson’s 6.575 at 209.72.

In the second session of qualifying, Enders faced off with Mason McGaha in the #2Fast2Tasty Challenge finals. Enders would leave the starting line second but drive around McGaha with a 6.541-second pass at 210.87 mph to his 6.591 at 208.91. With the victory, Enders won three championship points and a cash prize.

“We are very thankful for what Mission Foods is doing for our sport. It’s exciting to have a race within a race despite the stress that it adds. Rolling off the trailer and having no shots at the tree or racetrack before a round of eliminations is a little nerve wracking. We were all under the same rules, so we just had to go out there and do our best. Fortunately, we laid down an awesome pass that first round against Anderson. And then taking down Mason McGaha in the finals,” Enders said. “Both my competitors had .00 reaction times, taking me to school on the tree, but fortunately my horsepower saved me. I’ve saved my car before and today the guys and the car saved me. Obviously extremely thankful for that.”

In the postponed Winternationals final round, Enders faced Dallas Glenn. Enders would get her JHG/Melling/SCAG car across the finish line in 6.531 seconds at 209.52 mph but with her .054-second reaction time, Glenn and his 6.537 at 209.14 with a .024 reaction time would get the win.

Enders enters eliminations at the NHRA Arizona Nationals sitting No. 2 to face Chris McGaha in the first round.

Eliminations at the NHRA Arizona Nationals are slated to being Sunday at 11 a.m. with Pro Stock first round at noon. Television coverage of the event continues on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). With a second qualifying show Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ET. Eliminations for the NHRA Arizona Nationals will air Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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This story was originally published on April 7, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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