DENVER (July 23) – All five-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin needs is a fighting chance, and he's got one in the Mopar Mile-High Nationals this weekend at Bandimere Speedway.
Coughlin qualified his Magneti Marelli offered by Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Dart in the No. 8 spot, his best qualifying effort in the last four races. And with the potential of Elite Motorsports teammate Erica Enders, who qualified No. 2, Coughlin knows he has a chance to be even better on race day.
"We definitely made some vast improvements between Chicago and now," Coughlin said. "We know we have seen it toward sea level back (at Elite Performance) in Oklahoma on the dyno. We didn't do any testing up here and were a little worried just how the new project would work, but it looks like it showed up to race. We can see that in Erica's car for sure."
Enders made a best pass of 6.933 seconds at 198.03 mph, while Coughlin's top lap was 6.979 at 196.73 mph. The issue with his Dart has been at top end.
"My car's just been struggling really from about fourth gear to the finish line so we know what to work on," Coughlin said. "We'll see if we can't get that corrected for tomorrow and see if we can't challenge for some round wins, potentially a race win."
That would mean a lot to Coughlin, his team and his sponsors, since Mopar puts a lot into this race.
"I love racing here in Denver." Coughlin said. "We have a lot on the line with this being a Mopar event, and that makes it fun. I know it sounds cliché to say it, but it really is fun. There's a lot of folks from Farmington Hills (Mich.) here, from local dealerships and this region. It's fun to perform well with that kind of crowd behind you. I know we have it week in and week out, but a lot of them are physically here."
Coughlin will square off against No. 9 qualifier Vincent Nobile in the first round. Nobile, driving an Elite Chevrolet, had a best pass of 6.981 at 197.25 mph.
"I think we'll kind of look over Erica's shoulder," Coughlin said, "and see if we can't get a play out of their book and get our Magneti Marelli car to the finish line first on Sunday."