Compiled from multiple reports
Three NHRA Pro Stock stars – Jeg Coughlin Jr., Alex Laughlin, and Bo Butner -- were the big winners at the inaugural Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by Elite Motorsports at Orlando Speed World Dragway.
Coughlin Jr. pocketed the biggest prize with a thrilling $75,000 win over Greg Anderson. Coughlin eked out a miniscule .009-second victory over his longtime rival Anderson, posting a 6.484 at 212.36 mph to Anderson's 6.485 at 213.81 mph. He left .008 seconds ahead and kept Anderson just in his shadow.
"It's been a helluva weekend and it's extremely exciting to be the last one standing Sunday evening at this inaugural race," Coughlin said. "The format of this race was very intense with just one qualifying run Friday and then three Saturday. We missed the set-up Friday and were hoping the weather would stay good for Saturday and it did, although the sun came out and made it trickier.
"It really felt like things didn't totally come together for Rickie (Jones, crew chief) until the semifinals today but the guys fought through it all to get us in position to win and we were able to pull it off. It was worth the effort; winning $75,000 in cash is pretty bad ass."
Coughlin entered race day as the No. 6 qualifier with a best pass of 6.478 at 212.76 mph. After a blind draw set the elimination field, he ended up opposite Butner, who ultimately couldn't get his car started for their Round 1 tilt.
Up next, Jeg Jr. faced his nephew Troy Coughlin Jr., who was making his Pro Stock debut. That race was a good one, with the veteran teaching his student a lesson, winning with a 6.489 at 211.99 mph to Troy Jr.'s 6.516 211.43 mph.
The semifinals was another close affair against Aaron Stanfield, but just as it was in the final, Jeg Jr. earned a head start (.030 to .041 seconds) and managed to stay ahead by a few feet, winning with a 6.501 at 212.36 mph to a 6.502 212.53 mph.
"It was a big-time atmosphere with everyone who is anyone in the Pro Stock world on hand," Jeg Jr. said. "To come out on top is very satisfying. Our Elite teammate Alex Laughlin also got the win in Pro Mod so it was yet another big weekend for our entire team."
Laughlin added another milestone moment to his doorslammer drag racing career when he turned on the final-round win light in Pro Mod. Laughlin defeated Todd Tutterow in the final round, recording a 5.671-second pass at 251.53 mph to Tutterow’s 6.362 at 146.21.
Laughlin hadn’t even sat in the seat of Marc Caruso’s Caruso Family Racing ’69 Camaro before the event, but after a series of test runs, four rounds of qualifying and four passes in eliminations, Laughlin was cutting consistent reaction times and wheeling the roots-blown ATI Performance entry like a veteran.
“It sounds pretty crazy – let’s be real, it is real crazy,” Laughlin said. “We started off on the wrong foot. We struggled through every test run. Once we started qualifying, things started going our way. Once we started racing, things really started going our way.”
Former Pro Stock world champ Butner took on David Kramer, son of his Pro stock rival Deric Kramer, in a winner-take-all $25,000 match race between their NHRA Factory stock entries. After a litany of issues with his Summit Racing Equipment Cobra Jet Ford Mustang prevented a three-race match, Butner finally squared off with Kramer’s Chevrolet COPO Camaro in a best-of-one conclusion, left on Kramer, and pulled away for the win.
Dillon Voss (Pro 632), Vonnie Mills (Top Sportsman), Stu White (Super Pro) and Troy Stafford (Pro ET) joined them as winners at the first-ever World Doorslammer Nationals.