There’s nothing like a room full of trophies to give a driver confidence heading into a big-time event.
Five-time and defending NHRA Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr.certainly has plenty of those, with two titles and four overall final-round appearances at Bandimere’s Thunder Mountain alone, the facility which will host this weekend’s 35th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals.
“There’s always some pressure when you’re representing your title sponsor at their biggest race, but when you look at the success our team has had, and I say that putting a huge emphasis on my teammate, Allen Johnson, it’s hard not to feel good about this race,” Coughlin said in a release published on the team’s official website. “We’ve had our success here, but Allen’s just been phenomenal, winning four of the last five races, including last year.
“Mark Ingersoll and Adam Hornberger, our crew chiefs, have probably the best read on racing at altitude of anyone in the Pro Stock pits. I know they’ll have both of our cars ready for action.”
In addition to his past successes, Coughlin said he looks forward to the event for the charity work associated with it, with events including Thursday’s Race to Read Charity Golf Tournament followed by the Mopar Big Block Party in nearby Golden, Colo.
“We always look forward to this race, the golf tournament and the Mopar Big Block Party,” Coughlin said. “We love the Bandimere family and these are some of the extra things they do to make this weekend special for the racers and the fans.
“They’re a racing family, just like ours, and we’re starting to see a third generation of Bandimeres jumping into the mix, just like we have at JEGS. We have this great synergy with the Bandimeres and all the people that work for them.”
This race is the first of three in a row, historically known as the Western Swing. Following Denver, the NHRA tour heads to Sonoma, Calif., and Seattle.
Eliminations begin at noon, Sunday. ESPN2 will carry all qualifying and elimination action, including live coverage of the final two rounds.
Teamjegs.com contributed to this report.