Everyone knew that Saturday’s hot and humid weather would slow the Pro Stock cars, which it did by an average of about a half-tenth from Friday’s nighttime session, but Jeg Coughlin Jr. showed that his JEGS.com team has a mastery of both by making the best run of Saturday, a 6.550, to reinforce his field-leading 6.509 from Friday.
Coughlin’s pink Chevy had low e.t. of three of the four qualifying sessions, with only Greg Anderson’s Q3 pass of 6.568 outdoing even Coughlin’s 6.574 in that session. Coughlin fought back in the final session where he was two-hundredths quicker than the nearest competitor, Deric Kramer, who posted a 6.571.
"We've had some unique weather conditions transitioning from Friday to Friday evening through Saturday and we're supposed to start off [Sunday] with a bit of a cool day with more barometer so the Pro Stock cars will be pretty quick in round one before the heat sets in," said Coughlin. "It's great to be No. 1 here and No. 1 in three of the sessions, so Team Elite is looking relly strong. Tomorrow is Game Day and that's what we come for. I'm really looking forward to hitting the track."
Coughlin’s Elite Performance teammate Erica Enders stayed No. 2 behind him with her Friday 6.510, and also was exactly a thousandth of a second slower than his Q3 pass with a 6.575 that she near-duplicated with a 6.577 on her final pass.
Kramer ended up third with his Charlotte-winning Camaro, with former world champ Bo Butner right behind him.
Matthew Hartford (6.548), Fernando Cuadra (6.553), Jason Line (6.556) and second-gen superstar Aaron Stanfield (6.556) rounded out the top half of the field.
Although Anderson made the best run of Q3 he finished just 10th in qualifying and will have to race his KB Racing teammate Line in a crucial first-round battle.
Alex Laughlin, who spent Friday off grounds at the No Mercy event in Georgia in his other racecar, a supercharged Corvette, made up for his absence with a 6.616 that put his Havoline Camaro into the show.