It was a day for milestones at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway on Sunday.
Larry Dixon won for the 52nd time in his career, which tied him for second on the all-time Top Fuel career victory list with Joe Amato, and Pro Stocker Jeg Couglin Jr. won for the 50th time in his pro career, joining an elite NHRA club.
"I feel unworthy," Dixon said. "You look at the people I looked up to when I was coming up: Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney and Joe Amato. Those were 'the guys.'
"The guys I looked up to didn't race 23 times a year, like I do. I have more of a chance to get those numbers up."
Coughlin, who has 64 total wins when you combine his pro and amateur victories, said the timing of the win was very special for himself and his family.
"It's very exciting," said Coughlin. "I passed 50 wins total a couple years ago, and I thought I was done with 50. I was reminded here lately of the next plateau, which is 50 wins in Pro Stock.
"To celebrate it here in Jeg's 50th-anniversary year is special and ironic. I'm blessed to do what I do, and I have some great people around me."
Also on Sunday, Robert Hight won his second consecutive Funny Car race in the AAA Ford Mustang.
Dixon's Al-Anabi Racing dragster was as tough as they came at Atlanta. His car's strength was likely the primary reason Dixon's final round opponent, Brandon Bernstein and the Copart dragster, jumped the green light and fouled out. Dixon's victory lap was in 3.913 seconds at 311.49 mph.
Coughlin's car broke after the burnout two weeks ago when he had a chance to win the final in St. Louis. There were no such problems in the Jegs.com Chevrolet Cobalt this time around as he rocketed to a 6.659-second run at 207.21 mph. His opponent, Rickie Jones, went 6.686 seconds at 206.35 mph in the Elite Motorsports Pontiac GXP
Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang, beat teammate Ashley Force Hood in the Funny Car final. He went 4.185 seconds at 298.01 mph to the 4.232 seconds at 297.48 Force Hood turned in driving the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang.