• UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway unveiled its new and much needed new scoring pylon for the Crown Royal 400. But here are the stats that got my attention -- It's only the third scoring tower in IMS history. The first was built in 1959 and not replaced until 1994, an unbelievably long gap. Then another 20 years before this new one. Decades between upgrades of such important things as this is one reason IMS has lost fans.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

JEG on QUALIFYING

U.S. Nationals winner and four-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. was the Newsmaker guest on Wednesday night's The Race Reporters show on PowerUpChannel.com. NHRA announcer Alan Reinhart, Drag Racing Online.com editor Jeff Burk, and National Speed Sport News senior editor Mike Kerchner joined me for the journalists' roundtable -- and they engaged in a very informative conversation on various topics.

Coughlin finished NHRA's "regular season" atop the Pro Stock standings. But the points reset for the Countdown, and NHRA added bonus points for each qualifying session. I reviewed Jeg's stats vs. Mike Edwards' through last weekend's Charlotte race: Starting line wins 43-16 vs. 23-34; Holeshot record 5-1 vs. 1-6; Round wins-losses 47-12 vs. 42-15. But Edwards has 11 poles to none for Jeg, and their average qualifying position is 1.89 for Edwards to Jeg's 6.68. Edwards now leads by 56 points. I asked Jeg if he was worried about losing the title based on qualifying results instead of what happens in final eliminations.

"I'm not worried about that. I think the qualifying points are just part of the new rules and we have to adjust. We've got some work to do with our qualifying . . . The goal is to get the car in the top eight. We have the horsepower and the car to do it."

Listen to the show using this link:
http://www.modavox.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=41220


Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EDT, downloadable, and available on-demand. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)

September 30 -- John Daly (editor, The Daly Planet.) Panelists: Lewis Franck, Jonathan Ingram. Plus, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Karen Stoffer.

October 7 -- Gil de Ferran. Panelists: Mike Harris, Gordon Kirby.

October 14 -- Bryan Sperber (president, Phoenix International Raceway). Panelists: Terry Blount, Ron Lemasters Jr.

October 21 -- Antron Brown. Panelists: Bobby Bennett, Corinne Economaki.

[ more early next week . . . ]