Jeg Coughlin Jr. enters this weekend scrambling for a different kind of berth than the one he pursued earlier this season.
Coughlin campaigned for a spot in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, a berth determined by fan vote. He secured the final position in the prestigious $50,000-to-win event.
This time he cannot rely on the fans for a spot in drag racing's playoffs.
Coughlin stands 26 points out of the top ten. Rodger Brogdon, the No. 10 ranked driver, elected to skip the Western Swing in order to test.
Coughlin hopes the largest challenges are now behind him in his bid for a place in the Countdown to the Championship.
"We knew this season, especially the early part of the schedule, would be tough," Coughlin said. "We started with a new engine program and a new race car. It's taken us time to get up to speed in a category that is extremely competitive.
"Now we're standing here with four races left before the Countdown and things are coming together for us. We're just 26 points out of the top 10 and the car's running better now than it has all year. The excitement has returned to the JEGS.com pit."
Coughlin enters this weekend's event in Sonoma as a two-time champion of the event.
"I'm excited about this race," Coughlin said. "I love the track and the fans are great out here. It's a beautiful part of the country. Everything is pointing in the right direction for us. Best of all, my great friend Kyle Seipal races out here so we'll get to spend some time with him."
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