It was an Elite Motorsports sweep of the top three Pro Stock qualifying spots on Friday as Jeg Coughlin Jr. led the way ahead of stablemates Alex Laughlin and Erica Enders. If Coughlin holds the lead it will be his first No. 1 of the season and the 30th of his career.
Coughlin Jr. led the first session with a 6.541 in his Team JEGS Camaro, with Enders just a tick behind him at 6.542 and Summit Racing’s Jason Line third at 6.547.
In Q2, Laughlin improved from his 6.551 first-session effort to a 6.541 that matched Coughlin’s pace, but his faster speed, 210.64 to 210.50 mph gave him the lead, but only temporarily as Coughlin pulled the yellow and black attack into the staging beams behind him and promptly went back to the top with a 6.539.
“We had really good conditions with cloud cover and cooling rain but we felt like we left a little on the table in Q1 and tried to sweep that up in Q2,” said Coughlin, who won this race back in 2002 and also has three career runner-ups at Pacific Raceways, most recently in 2015. “I was a little lazy on the 1-2 shift in Q2 and tickled the limiter a little bit that didn’t help our efficiency, but it was still good enough to rack up the No. 1 spot. The track was really killer and it’s just a testament to the Elite Motorsports team. We’re ready to race. From the pit angle we’re feeling really confident and I feel great behind the wheel, and that’s a great combination.”
Enders' 6.542 held up for the No. 3 spot, with Line (6.547), last year’s runner-up Deric Kramer (6.550), Denver and Sonoma winner Greg Anderson (6.558), Fernando Cuadra (6.559), and points leader Bo Butner (6.564) holding down the rest of the top half of the field.
RELATED: Pro Stock qualifying order
Alan Prusiensky sits on the bump spot for the 16-car field with a 6.622 and Joey Grose and Cristian Cuadra on the outside looking in with two qualifying sessions remaining Saturday.