The double-barreled Elite Performance threat of Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Erica Enders ended up 1-2 after a dazzling side-by-side final dash of Pro Stock qualifying with Coughlin’s pink JEGS.com Camaro grabbing the No. 1 spot with a 6.509, a thousandth of a second ahead of her red Elite Chevy.
“It was aggressive from the time we left the trailer until I turned off the track,” said Coughlin. “Rickie [Jones, crew chief] had made a good pass on the first run and were No. 1 after the first session and he was trying to lay the boards over again in that run. We were .956 to 60 feet, which is almost unheard-of. I knew Erica would be right there but I wasn’t going to peek over and maybe scrub off a thousandth of a second by letting the car move around.”
Coughlin had been the low qualifier after Q1 with a 6.539 but had been bumped down two spots to third by the time he ran after runs of 6.533 by Charlotte champ Deric Kramer and former world champ Bo Butner, who improved upon his first-session 6.549 to a 6.535 yet dropped two spots to No. 4.
Matt Hartford, runner-up at the last two events in the Countdown, continued to look strong with a 6.548 that places him No. 5, but he still dropped two spots after ranking third with his earlier 6.553.
Fernando Cuadra sits a season-high sixth with a 6.553 with Jason Line and Aaron Stanfield right behind him, both at 6.556, with Line’s KB Camaro earning the higher spot thanks to a superior speed, 210.97 to 210.14.
Richie Stevens, making his first start in a couple of years, is 15ht with a 6.648 in Alan Prusiensky’s Dodge, just ahead of Cristian Cuadra’s bump-sitting 6.652. Alex Laughlin, who is competing in another event this weekend in Georgia, will reportedly be on hand Saturday to try to bump his way into the field.