DENVER (July 21) — Fresh off a dominating victory in Northern California’s wine country, five-time world champion drag racer Jeg Coughlin Jr. arrives at Denver’s Bandimere Speedway with a fast racecar that should be considered one of the favorites to win this weekend’s 31st annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.

“We had a helluva race in Sonoma,” Coughlin said. “From the time we got there until I pulled the ‘chutes in the final round Sunday afternoon everything went extremely well for us. The plan is to keep that momentum going at Bandimere.

“We approached the race with a slightly more aggressive tune-up with the thinking that we want to have this Chevrolet Cobalt perfect for the start of the Countdown to 1, which is just around the corner. Obviously, we feel much better after taking the win and now the goal is to keep ourselves at that top level.”

A 51-time winner in the Pro Stock class, Coughlin is no stranger to success on Thunder Mountain, having visited the Mile-High Nationals winner’s circle on consecutive years in 1998 and 1999. He also claimed runner-up honors at the facility in 2003.

“The data we got last year when we raced to the semifinals there should help a bunch,” Coughlin said. “We didn’t test in Denver like many of the other teams did so we’re going to need a little luck in the first couple of rounds of qualifying to get off on the right foot. It’s nice to know I’ve got this incredible team behind me and I’m confident we’ll be fine.

“The one thing you can always count on is that the Bandimere family and their staff up there will have the track in perfect shape. That’s one variable you can control and they always make sure to give the racers a perfect track. It’s at altitude and just about everything you do with the tune-up is different but the challenge is really fun for everyone.”

A multi-time winner this year, Coughlin will actually be trying for two trophies over the weekend as he contests both Pro Stock and Super Comp, the latter in his dragster.

“Hopefully we’ll have another busy weekend,” Coughlin said.

Pro Stock qualifying begins with two sessions at 4:45 and 7:15 p.m. Friday at Bandimere Speedway. Qualifying highlights will be shown in primetime Saturday on ESPN2.


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