World champion NHRA Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. has had his swagger return this season.

And he hasn't lost any of it so far at this weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

Although Pro Stock qualifying was shortened to one total session – and that came Saturday afternoon – Coughlin was the class of the field. He clocked a 6.612-second elapsed time at 208.46 in his Performance Chevrolet Camaro to capture the No. 1 qualifying spot.

“I don’t know that it presents a lot of challenges, I mean our engineers and crew chiefs and teams have to race in a lot of conditions throughout the 2018 season,” Coughlin said. “The track being a fresh track we certainly like to be down it a couple more times, but the Baders did a great job with the surface. It is very smooth. Obviously, the rubber is going to continue to get better and better as the weekend continues. The forecast looks good for tomorrow and we would love nothing more than fine tune over four rounds. But, there’s 15 others out there in Pro Stock that would like to not see that happen, but I feel pretty good about it. Rick and Rickie Jones and the entire Elite performance crew has done a great job.”

This was Coughlin’s first No. 1 qualifying effort this season and the 24th of his Pro Stock career. He has won 60 Pro Stock national events and he’s going for his third win this season and third in four races.

“The one run we had preparing for it, it was a bit of a crap shoot,” Coughlin said. “We are on the heels of a four-race stretch and coming off Bristol, I had a great win there. There are different conditions coming in here. There a lot of resets the way they run the chassis and the car. We were probably the closest out of all 19 that ran and ended up here No. 1, and it feels fantastic.”

Coughlin, who won NHRA Pro Stock titles in 2000, 2002, 2007-08 and 2013, had not won a Pro Stock national event since 2014 before this season.

“We certainly made some transitions within the camp,” he said. “It has not been a secret that we changed chassis and it has almost been like a light switch as far as the car being performance-wise more predictable. The first three or four races when we knew we had a fast race car and things just weren’t going our way either from behind the wheel or some of the calls we were making.

"We win as a team and we also go down as a team. We have stayed together, and we have weathered some storms and it feels nice to see that reward in finding ourselves in the winner’s circle in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been fortunate to this point to win 79 national events in my career and I can honestly say almost without a shadow of a doubt that that felt like one of my first ever wins because of how special it was. The team I’m with it was our first win together with the all-black car and I think everybody was as excited as I was.”