by Colleen Marie Lynch
Brendan Gaughan started his Dodge in the 10th position. But what does a driver and his crew talk about during
Six laps into the race, Brendan was running 16th, and he told his crew, "I'm running tight! I had to pull
out and get some air. Should the fan be on or off?"
His spotter Shane responded, "It should be off."
On lap 20, Brendan was running 183.974 mph. His best lap had been a 188.964. On lap 21, Scott Riggs blew a
tire and the caution came out. The crew went into action getting ready for the pits. Brendan said, "I need
a windshield." They told them to give him that and to take a "round out of the left rear, take 1 1/2 out of
the trackbar and add some tape." They told Brendan he would have a nice open pit. They also reminded him to
stay in line until he got there. They also told him to be careful and warned him that the 5 would be pitting
nearby. After the four tire pit they were off.
Brendan asked, "Where we at? How many cars behind us?" "Like 6," was the reply. Brendan then wanted to know
if they were coming back in to add some more tape. They were told by Nascar that there would be enough time,
so they decided to come back in for tape and to top off the fuel. On pit road, Jeff Gordon spun the 9 around
backwards also almost hitting Brendan. Brendan said, "Woo that man! We got lucky with Gordon!"
Riggs was down two laps from the tire going down. Brendan's crew told him that he would have the 10 behind
him with a lot of damage. On lap 29, the crew told Brendan that the 10 went behind the wall due to damage
meaning that on the restart, Brendan would not have anyone behind him. His crew told him, "Bren, you have to
stay right on that 9 car cause you're not gonna have any help. Stay on his bumper, Bren, you've got no friends
behind you. Just keep sniffing that 9." One of the crew members yelled, "stay on that 9!"
On lap 35, Brendan moved up to 19th. He continued moving up throughout the race. On lap 37 he was 15th and
on lap 39 he was 14th. They told Brendan he was doing a good job, and turn one and two was his best. Brendan
continued moving up. He was 13th on lap 41. He continued drafting with Dave Blaney and moved
up to 11th on lap 43. Brendan passed him, moving him into 9th on lap 45. He was now drafting with Kurt Busch.
They told him that Blaney, who was in 10th, was 5 cars back. Directions continued to come from his spotter.
"Stay with him, stay on his tail. No help from behind. You're in the right lane, stay with it!" On lap 49,
Brendan moved into 8th, finishing the race 1.915 seconds behind the leader with a speed of 185.586.
Brendan continued talking to his crew, "Nice racecar Shane. It's still a little tight, a tic tight, but it's
still pretty good. Mr. Baker, how 'bout a report card." Buddy Baker replied, "Great job, I wanna talk to you
before you leave. I know you have a lot of PR. Most people bring it home in a basket. I'll give it an A+."
Brendan answered, "thank you sir, but I wouldn't give it an A+." Baker laughed, "Okay, I'll drop it to a B+."
After a long pause, Baker said, "You still on the radio." "Yes sir," Brendan replied. "Good job!" "I wish I
did better for you." Buddy Baker answered, "you did great!"