CHARLOTTE (April 29) -- For the second race in a row, six-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. raced his Performance Chevrolet Camaro to a top-half qualifying effort and a semifinal finish, signaling a continued change of fortune for the 76-time national event winner.

Adding to the fun at the ninth annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals were the similar results posted by Jeg Jr.'s nephew Troy Jr. in Top Alcohol Dragster.

Fellow Team JEGS racers Clay Coughlin (Junior Dragster), Samantha Coughlin (Super Comp) and Paige Coughlin (Super Comp) also were in action this weekend.

"It was a good weekend for us," Jeg Jr. said. "Just like Houston, we had a top-five car every round so we're certainly pleased to have a competitive racecar again. And for the second weekend in a row, one of my Elite Performance teammates won the race so things are certainly on a big upswing. It's an exciting time."

After qualifying sixth overall with a 6.558-second pass at 210.90 mph, Jeg Jr. roared to life on race day of the unique four-wide race, winning his opening-round quad with his best run of the weekend, a 6.515 at 212.66 mph. Teammate Vincent Nobile was second with a 6.513 at 212.16 mph, while last week's winner Matt Hartford spun his tires and coasted to the finish, drifting alongside Alan Prusiensky.

"Having two other Elite-powered cars in Round 1, we knew we'd have our hands full right from the start," Jeg Jr. said. "The guys did a great job setting up the JEGS Camaro and we had a really strong run. We just kind of fine-tuned from there for the next session."

In a semifinal quad of drivers that ended with all four drivers posting 6.54-second passes, Coughlin slipped to third place by a fraction of a second, watching Chris McGaha and Nobile advance to the final.

"We just spun a little in second and third gear and that very slight loss of momentum was enough to knock us out," Jeg Jr. said. "We needed .008 of a second more to get to the finals but...
By Bobby Bennett

Justin Ashley had a date with destiny on Saturday night.

The second-generation drag racer captured an impressive victory winning the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Div. 1 Top Alcohol Dragster crown behind the wheel of the Randy Meyer Racing entry at Virginia Motorsports Park, located outside of Richmond, Va, But this simply wasn't just another victory.

Ashley not only qualified #2 in the quickest-ever NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster field (5.265 bump) but also stopped Jared Dreher in the final round to capture his first-ever divisional title.

It seemed like yesterday that the 24-year old real estate developer was at VMP, then 8, watching his father Mike Ashley score his first victory behind the wheel a supercharged car.

"The car ran so well all weekend," Ashley said. "We were able to keep the car in the teens all weekend, and we needed to be there because this was the quickest field in Top Alcohol Dragster history. The competition out here was simply amazing."

Ashley fired his first shot in qualifying with a 5.177, 277.66 pass to land #2 behind Richard Rourke's 5.161.

Ashley said this kind of performance was the kind he'd envisioned when he declared his team would compete for a Top Alcohol Dragster title.

"Anytime I get behind the wheel of this car, Randy Meyer and his team put me in a position to win," Ashley explained. "This is the kind of performance we expect week in and week out."

Ashley's march to the winner's circle began with his quickest run of the weekend, a 5.141, to stop Julie Nataas. He then used an .04 light and a 5.158 to lead Dan Page through the lights.

In the final round, Ashley outreacted Dreher and scored the victory with a 5.238. Dreher slowed to a 7.164 for runner-up.

Ashley believes the key to the weekend success was getting off on the right foot on Friday.

"I think running the 5.19 out of the trailer...
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was the place to be for race fans. People from all over the world filled the stands to witness the inaugural four-wide event at the Las Vegas track. The speedway had a sell-out crowd for the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.

Fans showed up in droves to feel the energy and be a part of the historical event. Four-Wide drag racing has established itself in the Western Region and from the response of the fans and race competitors, you can bet it’s here to stay.

Once again, Team Litton Racing joined forces with Randy Meyer Racing to compete in the Top Alcohol Dragster division. Although race fans were eager to get the first glimpse of the newly constructed track, breaking in a new strip can bring many challenges for the driver and race team.

Driver Bill Litton, Crew Chief Randy Meyer, Assistant Crew Chief Dan Pomponio, and crew members Mary, JJ, Howard, Ted, and Glenn knew they had to bring their A – game. The first round of qualifying took off with a smooth run reaching the finish line in 5.42 seconds @ 270 mph. Driver Litton rolled into the next round of qualifying 5.39 @ 271 mph holding on to the #6 spot. The 3rd and final qualifying run on Saturday showed improvement, finishing at 5.34 @ 272.9 mph still holding on to the #6 qualifying spot. “After a trick race track, being an all new surface, we have come out in pretty good shape. Bill being the #6 qualifier with 5.34, looking pretty good going into eliminations," said Chief Meyer. "On Saturday we will be running first round eliminations to see if we can continue onward up the eliminations ladder, and hope for the best."
After qualifying in a solid position, Driver Bill Litton was optimistic going into first round eliminations. Per Litton, “Randy, Dan,...