Gaughan Goes To Mexico For The SCORE Baja 250 As Cup Visits Vegas
As NASCAR converges on Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend, local driver Brendan Gaughan won’t be walking around the garages or even watching the race from the grandstands.
Instead, Gaughan – a regular on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit in his No. 77 South Point Chevrolet – will be testing his racing abilities in the desert. Gaughan will be racing in the Baja 250 in his SCORE Class 1 Buggy on Saturday in Ensenada, Mexico.
“As soon as our Open House at the South Point Racing shop is over on Thursday, I’m going to Mexico,” Gaughan said. “We have the makings of a great race buggy, and we are really excited about this race. This is fun for me, and I look forward to every opportunity I have to get out in the desert and race.”
This will be Gaughan’s second SCORE race of the 2007 season. He had problems with the transmission in his Kreger Class 1 Buggy at the Laughlin Desert Challenge in January. Gaughan, who starts 18th in Saturday’s off-road race, hopes those issues are resolved.
“If we can get our Xtrac Transmission to live, our buggy has a chance to do very well in this race,” Gaughan said. “We hope its tough enough to live through this race.”
Gaughan and co-pilot Billy Holbrook tested the Baja 250 course last weekend and came away feeling good about their chances in the Class 1 race.
“For the first time in seven years, we actually got to pre-run a race course,” Gaughan said. “We’ve won a desert race and didn’t even pre-run it, but what we did last weekend will help. We had a good pre-run.
“It was also the first time we got to use a GPS and program it ourselves. We’re waking up to the 21st century as far as the technology of the desert goes. That could be either really good or really bad. I’ll either drive really fast off a cliff because I think I know the course now, or we’ll do something right.”
Gaughan says the Ensenada course is very tight and technical with a lot of cliff roads. The biggest obstacle for the tandem will be if someone has a problem on the track in front of them and blocks the path. But Gaughan and his buggy are ready for the challenge.
“With what we have felt in the two races we had with our Kreger Class 1, it’s a fantastic race car,” Gaughan said. “Kevin’s (Kroyer) powerplant really surpasses what any buggy I have ever driven has had. The suspension they put in it really works good. It’s very nimble, which it’s going to need to be for this race track. I think we have the makings of a great race car. The transmission while it’s working is easier to drive and better than any transmission I have ever race. The key is – we’ve got to finish. Once we get that part down, this could be a very formidable race car.”