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Jeg Coughlin Jr. Wins Thunder Valley Nationals

Jeg Coughlin Jr. and the SCAG Power Equipment / Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer team powered to victory Sunday at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

Jeg Jr. earned his 67th career victory with a win against rival and fellow Pro Stock veteran Greg Anderson in the final round. Jeg Jr. would have a solid pass at 6.707 seconds and 204.94 mph while Anderson, who had been the No. 1 qualifier and quickest all day, struggled down the track squaring the tires and crawling to a 20.530 pass at just 37.09.

“Greg and I have been in so many elimination-rounds side-by-side. To see them make a mistake and have a hiccup after the stellar runs they’ve put down was amazing,” Jeg Jr. said. “I put it in fourth gear and kind of peeked over a little bit, it was spinning and shaking, got it into fifth gear and I peeked over again and I’m like, you’ve got to be kidding me. Surely, he’s going to be coming on like a freight train. Bottom line, what a great win for us today.”

En route to the finals, Jeg Jr. battled through three Elite Motorsports teammates. As the No. 3 qualifier, Jeg Jr. had a first-round match-up with Jerry Tucker and the Outlaw Mile High Beer / SCAG team. Tucker would run 6.698 seconds and 205.38 mph to come up short to Jeg Jr.’s 6.657 at 205.04. In the second round, it would be a family battle with Jeg Jr. taking on Troy Coughlin Jr. and the / White Castle team who had just won a week ago in Epping N.H.

Jeg Jr. would get the better of Troy Jr. at the starting line with a .013-second reaction time to Troy Jr.’s .044. Jeg Jr. would never trail finding the finish line in 6.690 seconds at 205.32 mph bettering Tory Jr.’s 6.736 at 204.85. The quarterfinal win set Jeg Jr. and the SCAG team up for a semifinal matchup against reigning world champion Erica Enders.

After starting the day from the No. 2 spot and battling through teammates Fernando Cuadra Jr. and David Cuadra running impressive 6.636 and 6.665-second passes, Enders’ Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage / Melling Performance / SCAG machine would run into trouble on the track for only a 9.657 second run at 104.42 mph. Jeg Jr. would get the win with his 6.720 pass at 204.60.

“It was quite a team battle as we started the day off. Pro Stock in today’s day and age reminds me a lot of the late 90s and early 2000s where fields are separated just by a couple hundredths of a second,” Coughlin said. “When the field is that tight, it does put a on the driver’s shoulders to drive well, get a good start and bang through the gears efficiently and not make any mistakes.”

When Enders and Jeg Jr. made it into the semifinals, they earned spots in the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge in two weeks in Richmond, Virginia. During Saturday’s qualifying sessions in Richmond, the drivers who reached the semifinals in Bristol will re-match to earn championship bonus points and a cash prize.

The Mission Foods NHRA Drag Racing Series season continues June 22-23 with the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie, Virginia just outside of Richmond.

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This story was originally published on June 10, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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