Denver: Jeg Coughlin Jr preview

Hard-charging Coughlin eyes landmark win DENVER (July 10) -- The hottest driver in Pro Stock is two-time POWERade champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., who stands on the threshold of a professional mark very few drivers have ever reached -- 50 career ...

Hard-charging Coughlin eyes landmark win

DENVER (July 10) -- The hottest driver in Pro Stock is two-time POWERade champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., who stands on the threshold of a professional mark very few drivers have ever reached -- 50 career victories. Coming off a big win Sunday in Bristol, Tenn., Coughlin has 49 national event trophies in his possession. Only nine men in 56 years of NHRA Championship Drag Racing have more.

"It's a number I've been aiming for," said Coughlin, who has 36 Pro Stock wins and 13 more in the sportsman ranks. "It would mean the world to me to get it at Bandimere Speedway because our two families have become very close over the years and we think so much of the entire Bandimere clan. I'd love to share the moment with them."

There's no reason to think Coughlin can't get it done. His JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt has been the best in the class over the last nine races, outscoring class leader Greg Anderson by 86 points since the start of the Houston race in late March.

Coughlin has raced to five finals, three semis, and one quarterfinal over that time frame, winning twice and scoring three runner-up finishes for team owner Victor Cagnazzi. His teammate Dave Connolly has recently raced to three finals and a pair of wins.

"Both the Cagnazzi Racing Cobalts are running strong and we're very excited about that," Coughlin said. "I've managed to climb up to second in the points and really make up some ground on Greg, who had a fabulous start, and Dave's right behind me in third. It's been a great battle so far and it's a real honor to be running well against Greg and the rest of the very, very stout racers in this category.

"We were fortunate enough to win two Pro Stock championships in 2000 and 2002, and they were hard fought to be sure, but I think this year's group might just be the toughest I've ever seen. It makes the privilege of winning a race, any race, extremely special."

NHRA fans know the thin air drivers and crew chiefs will encounter at the 28th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals can be tough to handle, but Coughlin and tuner Roy Simmons know they can lean on the data gleaned from Coughlin's two wins there in 1998 and '99, as well as Connolly's win there in 2006, to help them along.

"No matter what, you know the Bandimeres will have the racetrack in perfect condition," the 37-year-old Coughlin said from his home in Delaware, Ohio. "Yes, it will be hot, and yes the cars will be gasping for air, just like the rest of us, but we all race down the same quarter-mile.

"The way my guys have this car running right now, I know they'll adapt to whatever we face up there. I also know they'd love to share another winner's circle celebration with me and my great friends, the Bandimeres. I can't wait to get started."

-credit: team jegs

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Greg Anderson , Dave Connolly