Elite Motorsports Pro Stock driver Troy Coughlin Jr. raced to a runner-up finish under a gorgeous Nevada sky this afternoon at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. With the hottest track temperatures so far this year adding to the complexities that accompany the fan-favorite four-wide format, consistency was key for these talented drivers and teams as they battled it out at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Coughlin defeated his teammate Cristian Cuadra, who had deadly reaction times throughout eliminations, and Deric Kramer to secure his runner-up finish whilst Dallas Glenn would nab the ultimate prize.
“The yellow JEGS.com / White Castle Chevrolet Camaro is awesome,” said Coughlin. “I think we’ve hit a really good stride with it. The car is great and the guys worked their butts off. We can’t wait to get to the next four-wide in Charlotte. Staging is everything in four-wide racing. You’re not staging next to one guy, you’re staging next to three. There’s just more going on cognitively and it can slow you down just a hair if you’re not really on top of it. It adds a little bit more flavor to the race for sure. I like the challenge. It’s a lot of fun.”
With seven of its pristine machines ready to hit the four lanes of The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Elitie Motorsports team entered race day depending on their years of four-wide experience to help them advance in this ultra-challenging format.
In the first quad of the day, Elite teammates Coughlin, C. Cuadra and Fernando Cuadra Jr. lined up alongside Pro Stock veteran Greg Anderson. All four cars left the line without issue and it was a heated drag race all the way to the finish line where Coughlin, despite being the last to leave the starting line, would overtake the other three cars to advance along with C. Cuadra who had the best reaction time of the first round at .009-seconds.
Elite drivers Aaron Stanfield and Bo Butner lined up against Deric Kramer and Chris McGaha. Stanfield and Kramer advanced to the semifinals. Five-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders and her teammate, rookie Jerry Tucker, took to the track against No. 1 qualifier Matt Hartford and Camrie Caruso. Hartford led the quad to the finish line followed by Enders, and the two would advance to the next round of eliminations.
In the semifinals, Stanfield faced Kramer, Glenn and Steve Graham in one quad while Enders, Coughlin and C. Cuadra faced Hartford in the other.
The staging process with four cars can get complicated and drivers have to double down on their focus despite the exponential chaos happening around them. In the first quad, Kramer reached the finish line first thanks in part to a .006 reaction time. He was followed by Glenn, Stanfield and Graham, so it would be Kramer and Glenn advancing to the finals. In the next semifinal quad, C. Cuadra left with a stellar .018 reaction time to advance to the finals along with his teammate Coughlin where they faced Glenn and Kramer.
The Elite Motorsports Pro Stock team will compete in the second four-wide race of the season, the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, in two weeks at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., just outside of Charlotte.