The 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock category saw veteran Jeg Coughlin Jr. pick up his fifth world title, his first since 2008. Coughlin Jr., who qualified third for the Countdown to the Championship, won four times and had four runner-up finishes during the season, along with two No. 1 qualifiers. Two of Coughlin Jr.’s wins came prior to the Countdown, at Topeka over Allen Johnson and Chicago over Greg Anderson, while the others came during the Countdown, at Charlotte over Jason Line and Reading over Johnson.
2012 champ Johnson was runner-up to his teammate Coughlin Jr., winning four times in nine final round appearances. Johnson won two straight early in the season, taking home Wallys from Gainesville over Coughlin Jr. and Las Vegas over Erica Enders-Stevens. He also beat Shane Gray in the inaugural event at New England Dragway and V. Gaines in Denver.
Line took home two wins in 2013, over Shane Gray at both Houston and Dallas, and finished third in points. Mike Edwards, who led Pro Stock points for much of the season, won six times and grabbed 15 No. 1 qualifiers but had just one final-round appearance in the Countdown and slipped to fourth in final points.
Fifth-place finisher Shane Gray took home one Wally from Las Vegas; Erica Enders-Stevens, who missed six of the final eight “regular season” races and still qualified for the Countdown, took wins at Phoenix and St. Louis on her way to a sixth-place finish. Gaines and Anderson both went winless in 2013, and Vincent Nobile, in spite of winning three races – the season-opener at Pomona, Sonoma and Seattle – suffered through a rough Countdown to only finish ninth. Rodger Brogdon, who took his first career win in Bristol, rounded out the top 10.
Rickie Jones, who competed 16 times in 2013, picked up his first career win at the NHRA Finals in Pomona; he finished 11th in points.
The top 10 drivers following the Countdown to the Championship were:
1. Jeg Coughlin Jr. – 2572
2. Allen Johnson – 2514
3. Jason Line – 2502
4. Mike Edwards – 2482
5. Shane Gray – 2480
6. Erica Enders-Stevens – 2406
7. V. Gaines – 2355
8. Greg Anderson – 2345
9. Vincent Nobile – 2298
10. Rodger Brogdon – 2147
Keep up with the NHRA off-season at www.nhra.com.
Check out Paula’s Examiner columns on motorsports:
Follow Paula on:
· Twitter - @paulat14
· Website – paulathompsonfreelance.com
· Flickr – Paula Thompson Freelance
Contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org