Stage One: Rolling off 14th for Friday night’s PPG 400, Cody Coughlin utilized the first couple of early cautions of the night to maneuver his way into the top-10 running order. Just past halfway in Stage One, Coughlin reported that his Flying Eyes® / JEGS.com Chevy was pushing tight and only getting tighter in the corners as the run progressed. With the caution coming out with 11 laps remaining in Stage One, crew chief Jerry Baxter elected not to pit, allowing Coughlin to finish the stage, when the field went back green, with valuable stage points in the fifth position. Bringing the No. 2 to pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and both air pressure and chassis adjustments, Coughlin lined up 14th for the start of Stage Two with varying pit strategy taking place amongst the leaders.
Stage Two: Shortly after going green for Stage Two, Coughlin came on the radio and reported that he felt like he had a tire going down. Taking a lap to feel it out, Coughlin ultimately hit pit road under green on lap 50 for four fresh tires and a splash of fuel. Returning to the track in the 21st position, two laps down, Coughlin’s GMS Racing team informed him that he had a loose right rear wheel. Baxter and the No. 2 team went to work coming up with a game plan to get Coughlin back on the lead lap as Stage Two was coming to a close. Finishing Stage Two in the 18th position, Coughlin received the “lucky dog,” getting one of his two laps back. Still fighting a truck that was too tight, Coughlin brought his Flying Eyes® / JEGS.com Chevy to pit road for four tires, fuel, and major chassis adjustments, lining up 18th for the start of the Final Stage.
Final Stage: Positioning himself the first truck one lap down early on in the run, Coughlin was able to get his final lap back when the caution came out on lap 108. Coming to pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments, Coughlin rejoined the field but hit pit road with one lap to go before they went back green to top off on fuel. Back on the lead lap and restarting 16th, Coughlin made quick work to make up ground and found himself back in the top-10 with 50 laps to go. Trying to save fuel in case the race went green to the end, Coughlin remained in the 10th position, still fighting a Chevrolet Silverado that was tight on the exit of the corners, as the laps wound down. However, a caution on lap 151 allowed Baxter to make the call to bring the No. 2 to pit road one final time for four tires, fuel, and more adjustments, lining Coughlin up 11th with 13 laps remaining. Using the fresh tires to his advantage, Coughlin was able to work his way up to the eighth position, crossing the finish line with his best NCWTS finish at Texas Motor Speedway.
– Coughlin’s eighth-place finish Friday night is his best finish at Texas Motor Speedway, as well as his third top-10 finish in the last four races, and his fourth top-10 finish of the 2018 NCWTS season.
– After this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, Coughlin remains 11th in the NCWTS driver point standings.
“Tonight was definitely great to get another top-10 finish. We worked together to rally against some difficulties early on and still finished well. We will get that ‘W’ soon. It was so nice to have my family, girlfriend, Don Osmond and everyone from Flying Eyes® here tonight, too. I can’t thank Jerry (Baxter, crew chief), my team and GMS Racing enough for their hard work.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!