Mooresville, NC - Brendan Gaughan, driver of the No. 77 Kodak Easy Share/Eckerd Drugs Dodge and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender, is one step closer to his debut in NASCAR's premier series.
Under windy conditions, Gaughan took to the track, second out of 45 drivers, and posted the 19th fastest lap overall to secure his starting position in the Gatorade Twin 125-mile qualifying races, which will ultimately set the field for the Daytona 500.
Gaughan expressed his discontent with his lap times though he felt the Kodak Racing Team had made strides since its practice sessions Saturday.
"I was able to back-up my practice times from yesterday but we had a lot more wind today," said Gaughan. "Our Kodak Dodge has been struggling in the wind, so to hit the same number under those conditions, we're pretty happy."
Gaughan is looking forward to Thursday, February 12, 2004 when he will roll off from the 10th position in the first 125-mile qualifier.
Gaughan's Penske-Jasper powered teammates will make their qualifying attempts in the second twin-125 qualifier. Rusty Wallace posted the 16th fastest lap overall, securing the eighth position in the second event, while Ryan Newman, 42nd- fastest overall, will begin his qualifying effort from the 21st position in that same race.
Greg Biffle secured the pole position for the "Great American Race" while Elliott Sadler will start from the outside of row one in the second position when the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series returns to regular-season action on NBC February 15, 2004.
The Gatorade 125s will air live on TNT, with pre-race beginning at 12:30 p.m., EST.
From Kodak Racing