Brendan Gaughan Pre-Race Report - California
Driver: Brendan Gaughan
Owner: Michael Gaughan
Event: racetickets.com 200
California Speedway --- Fontana, Ca
Race: Friday, February 24th, 2006 – 6:15 pm (PST)
Qualifying: Friday, February 24, 2006 – 10:10 am (PST)
2.0-mile oval, 200 miles/100 laps
Notes of Interest:
Despite the 24th place finish at Daytona the Orleans Racing team is ready to get to California. The energy comes from what driver, Brendan Gaughan calls the “moral victory” that Daytona brought.
The piece: Gaughan will drive Orleans Racing’s T21 truck. This Dodge Ram is new to the Orleans Racing fleet --- and as such carries a blank sheet in her record book.
2005 (NCTS) start 21 finish 21: 2004 (NNCS) start 5th finish 6th : start 22nd finish 42nd --- 2003 (NCTS) start 1st finish 2nd --2002 (NCTS) start 9th finish 3rd
Gaughan on Fontana:
With the Orleans team we definitely feel like we’re getting back to strength. I think this is just what the doctor ordered. At Daytona we did just what we said we’d do. We rode in the back for 50 laps then went right to the front. That was what we had to do to prove to ourselves and to prove to everyone else that we were busy over the off-season.
California? We’re the defending race team for this race. Last year Steve Park won in the bright yellow Jasper Dodge. This year the Orleans Hotel and Casino Dodge is going back with a different driver, I’m going to be in it this year. We’re looking to repeat what Steve did for us in 2004.
The west coast is definitely what we like – everybody had to leave Daytona and hustle to Charlotte then start coming over to this coast and battle the storms. All we had to do is go home. The guys have been working hard. Tom Buzze has got the 21 truck buffed and fluffed and ready to go. We think it’s going to be every bit as good as the one we had at Daytona and a little bit better. We’re going to defend our race championship.
California’s treated us well ever since the Winston West days. We finished third behind Benson and Schrader one year and I was crushed. I thought I should have beaten them but they taught me a lesson on restarts that I’ll never forget. The next year we came from a lap down to pass John Wood with one lap to go to win the race. The Craftsman Truck deal, I’ve never won it in a truck and that’s always bothered me because American Racing Wheels, one of our sponsors, sponsored the race. We’d finish 2nd. We’d finish 3rd. We had a flat while we’re in the lead and ended up finishing second. We could never get that “W” until Steve got the win for us.
It’s been a track that not only is on the west coast and we’re the west coast team but it fits my driving style. It’s the place I tried to make my first Cup start at.
It’s where I grew up with Walker Evans. Most of my life racing since I was 15 until I was almost 25 I spent at Walker Evans Racing. They’re at 60 and Market right off of downtown Riverside. I’ve been around that area a lot running parts for Walker Evans Racing. I went to the old Riverside races when I was younger to watch my father race. To have so many fans from the Walker Evans days, have so many fans being the west coast guys --- it’s almost like Vegas for me. It’s a second home.
Meet the Crew:
Race Day Duty
Rear Tire Changer
Mechanic / Tuner
Rear Tire Hanger
Front Tire Changer
Front Tire Hanger
Tire Spec / Fabricator
Culver City, CA
Listen in on the #77: The team’s primary radio frequency is 451.3371.