Mike Coughlin makes big move in D-3 Top Sportsman points with runner-up

COLUMBUS, OH – There’s no place like home. Just ask JEGS.com Top Sportsman driver Mike Coughlin, who used a Mike Coughlin - Columbusbig weekend at his home track of National Trail Raceway to power up to No. 2 in the NHRA Division 3 standings.

Coughlin, a two-time divisional champion in the category, raced to a runner-up finish in the rain-delayed Chicago event, run Friday and Saturday at NTR, and then added a quarterfinal result in the regularly scheduled Columbus event to complete his best weekend of the season.

“It’s been a struggle, really dating back to last year, but I think we finally turned the corner this weekend,” Coughlin said. “You look back at the races we’ve had over the last six, eight months and see a lot of .00 losses. It’s so close every round. There’s no doubt you need a little touch of Lady Luck to win out here and we just haven’t had it.”

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Lucas Oil’s Hector Arana Sr. endures tough day in Denver

DENVER – Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Sr. had a trying Sunday at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Hector Arana Sr - Denver, SundayBandimere Speedway.

Arana damaged an engine in a first-round victory over Chip Ellis, and after a mad scramble to change motors for Round 2, he hurt another engine in falling to Jim Underdahl.

“We started well and then we had some problems with the engine,” Arana said. “So we put in another one, and that one went bad also. I was lucky to get the second run in because we just finished putting all the little things together at the starting line.

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Lucas Oil pro Hector Arana Jr. races to second consecutive final round

DENVER – Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Hector Arana Jr. took his Lucas Oil Buell to his second consecutive final Hector Arana Jr - Denver runner-upround, but he fell to Eddie Krawiec in the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals on Sunday at Bandimere Speedway.

Arana won in Chicago two weeks ago for his first victory of the season, and he was looking to go back to back in Denver.

“I wanted to win badly, but it was still a good weekend,” Arana said. “The bike was running strong. We were the fastest bike all day today. The Harley bike was right there with me, and I knew it was going to come down to the wire.”

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Beckman Crowned for Third Time at Mopar Mile-High Nationals; Johnson Runs to Ninth Consecutive Final at Denver

Morrison, CO – “Fast Jack” Beckman powered to his third career Funny Car crown at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Jack Beckman - Denver winNationals on Sunday, running the record of the new 2015 Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car to a dominating 11 victories in 14 events this season. In Pro Stock, Allen Johnson scored a runner-up finish after racing to his ninth consecutive final round at Bandimere Speedway — and taking part in a “burndown” for the ages.

The victory was Beckman’s fourth of the year, a career best win total for a single season with 10 events still remaining. The triumph was also the 19th of his career, moving him to tenth on the all-time Funny Car win list past Ed McCulloch, Mark Oswald and active drivers Tim Wilkerson and teammate Matt Hagan. In addition, drivers piloting a new 2015 Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car have now reached the final round at 13 of 14 events this season.

“On behalf of everyone at Mopar I would like to congratulate Jack Beckman on his fourth victory of the season with the title win at our marquee event,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO — Mopar Brand Service, Parts and Customer Care, FCA. “To see the 2015 Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drive to the winner’s circle for a 11th national title this season is really exciting and reaffirms our dedication to providing quality products that translate to success on the track for our drivers.”

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Pro Stock champ Erica Enders kicks off Western Swing with semifinal finish in Denver

DENVER – Elite Motorsports driver Erica Enders came within an eyelash of reaching the final round of the Mopar Elite MotorsportsMile-High NHRA Nationals on Sunday at Bandimere Speedway, but she dropped a close race to eventual event winner Larry Morgan in the semifinals, her 10th semi in 14 races during the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

“We definitely had the car to do it,” Enders said. “We were running really fast and I have been driving really well. I believed that today was our day, and you have to believe that as a driver. If you don’t think and believe that you’re the best and that you’re going to win you might as well leave your car on the jacks at your pit.”

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FireAde’s Larry Morgan is king of the mountain after Denver triumph

DENVER – Only a Herculean effort would have stopped Allen Johnson’s winning streak at the Mopar Mile-High Larry Morgan - Denver winNHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, and that’s what FireAde Pro Stock driver Larry Morgan delivered Sunday, knocking Johnson off on a holeshot after a thrilling staging duel in the final round.

Morgan and Johnson sat in the pre-stage beam for more than 90 seconds before Johnson finally staged. Morgan was first off the line and held on for his second win of the season, snapping Johnson’s three-race winning streak here.

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‘Wild-card race’ not kind to Lucas Oil driver Richie Crampton

DENVER – The Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway is often called a “wild card” of the NHRA Richie CramptonMello Yello Drag Racing Series, but Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster driver Richie Crampton would prefer it be a little less wild.

Crampton and his Morgan Lucas Racing team didn’t have the best handle on Bandimere Speedway this weekend, and they bowed out in the second round Sunday.

“Denver really is a wild-card race because of the altitude here,” Crampton said. “It’s the same for everyone, of course, but that doesn’t make it any easier on anyone. We all look forward to getting back down to sea level in Sonoma (Calif.) next weekend.”

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