No one could transplant Friday leader Jeg Coughlin Jr. from the top of the Pro Stock qualifying sheets Saturday as the veteran driver of the JEGS.com Chevy Camaro racked up his first No. 1 qualifying effort of the season and the 30th of his decorated career with his 6.539-second clocking.
Elite Motorsports teammate Alex Laughlin came closest as he improved by a thousandth of a second in Q3 over his Q2 run of 6.541, but the big move came in top speed, where Erica Enders’ Friday best of 210.97 was supplanted twice, first by Bo Butner (211.03) and then by Deric Kramer (211.10). Coughlin’s pass of qualifying, a 6.585, was surprisingly his worst of the four after a trio consistent passes of 6.541, 6.539, and 6.553.
“I never really thought about No. 1 qualifiers because early in my career we never seemed to find ourselves at the top of the pack between Warren [Johnson] and [Jim] Yates, who were always the quicker cars, but we were always able to find our way to the winner’s circle," said Coughlin.
“Friday we had a lot of cloud cover and today, even though the air was better today, the sun was on the track since the crack of dawn, so the track was a little trickier. In Q3 we went right in the right lane because we had too much wheel speed and the last run we overcompensated a tick and the car hooked really hard and drove left and out of the groove. It was bouncing and I had my had full the first four gears.”
Coughlin will take on No. 16 qualifier Alan Prusiesnky in the opening round and will be heavily favored after Prusiensky’s best pass was just 6.622.
Laughlin remains No. 2 on the grid with their third Elite teammate, Erica Enders, third with a 6.542 that she put down on her opening pass but followed with a trio of tire-shaking early shutoffs that leave her red Camaro a question mark for Sunday’s first round.
Laughlin is scheduled to face Steve Graham while Enders is slated to take on anther Elite customer in recent Pro Mod convert Steve Matusek.
Greg Anderson, who is hoping to complete a record-setting second sweep of the Western Swing, will open against rookie Fernando Cuadra Jr. after qualifying just sixth. Points leader Bo Butner will face off against Matt Hartford.
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