Jeg Coughlin Jr. earned the 34th Pro Stock pole of his career and second of the 2020 Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing season at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. Coughlin ran a 6.536-second pass at 208.46-mph in the second of three qualifying sessions to continue his dominant start to the season.
He claimed every point available at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals and has done the same, so far, at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. The veteran racer is chasing his eighth world championship in his final full-time season behind the wheel of his JEGS.com Pro Stock Chevy Camaro.
“I think coming into the weekend here we were obviously riding right off of back-to-back Pomona wins,” said Coughlin. “Coming into this weekend as the defending champion kind of gave us another little feather in our cap. The team has been aggressive. We’ve been very fortunate our car has been performing really, really well. From behind the wheel, I can tell you we have quite a rocket. It feels amazing. I think that gives us a lot of confidence going into race day.”
Elite Motorsports rookie driver Marty Robertson qualified for his first Pro Stock race in his Cure Kids Cancer Chevy Camaro. The Texan ran a 6.695, bumping Fernando Cuadra Sr. in the final qualifying session. Cuadra failed to better a 6.745 and missed out on joining his sons Fernando Cuadra Jr. and Cristian Cuadra in the 16-car field.
Robertson must race his teammate, and No. 1 qualifier, Coughlin in the first round. That will be no small task as he races on Sunday for the first time in his career.
Erica Enders was one of a few racers who picked up elapsed time in the third and final qualifying session. The defending Pro Stock world champion ran a 6.554 to move closer to teammate Coughlin but was unable to surpass him in her Melling Performance Chevy Camaro.
Kenny Delco qualified No. 4, continuing his strong start to the 2020 season. He also qualified in the No. 4 position at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, one of the best qualifying positions of his career. He gets a matchup against Alan Prusiensky as he looks to repeat his semifinal trip.
Steve Graham and Joey Grose failed to crack the field, which featured 19 vehicles during qualifying. They made passes of 7.139 and 7.446, respectively.