by Kevin McKenna
Two-time NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin and four-time Super Stock champ Greg Stanfield set the pace during Friday’s Pro Stock test session at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Coughlin made the quickest run of the day with a 6.690 in his Slammers Ultimate Milk Chevy Cobalt and Stanfield was close behind with a 6.691 in his Bart Price-owned PiranaZ Chevy. Coughlin and Stanfield were among the more than 20 Pro Stock drivers who were making test runs in preparation for Saturday’s Pontiac Pro Stock Showdown.
“Overall, I’d have to say I’m pretty pleased with the way our car ran today,” said Coughlin, whose run is quicker than Jason Line’s track record set at the 2006 ACDelco Nationals last October. “We’ve made progress with our engine program this winter and I’m starting to feel pretty comfortable in the car.”
Coughlin’s Cagnazzi Racing teammate, Dave Connolly put his bracket racing skills to good use by making more than a half-dozen runs over the course of the day including a best of 6.711 with a top speed of 206.16 mph.
“We’re going to
Pomona in less than a week so we’re just trying to learn as much as we can this weekend,” said Connolly. “So far, so good. We’ll see what happens tomorrow when we actually get into qualifying and eliminations. I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on it, though.”
Kurt Johnson, V. Gaines, Mike Edwards, and Jim Yates, Greg Anderson, and Tom Martino also posted runs that were solidly in the 6.7s on Friday.
Reigning NHRA POWERade champion Jason Line strapped himself into his Summit Racing Pontiac for the first time since
Pomona and promptly delivered a solid 6.759 at over 204 mph. Teammate Anderson shook and shut off on his first run before returning with a 6.784 late in the day.
In addition to the Pro Stock contingent, there were more than a dozen other pro teams testing. Championship runner-up Doug Kalitta made the quickest run of the day when he drove the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster to a 4.497, 328.22 blast late in the afternoon. Earlier, Cory McClenathan posted a 4.509 in the Carrier Boyz Fram entry, posting the fastest speed of the day at 330.88 mph.
West Coast Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors Chris Rivas and Scott Lewis also made runs on Friday. Rivas, with the help of new crew chief Rick Maney, ran a 7.113, 184.88 while Lewis posted a best of 7.23 on his Suzuki.
Reigning Top Alcohol Funny Car champion Frank Manzo made his first run of the 2007 season and posted a 5.56, 259.66 in his Lucas Oil entry.
Pro Stock competitors will receive two qualifying runs tomorrow morning before heading into eliminations at 1 p.m.