CHEVY AMERICAN REVOLUTION 400
MAY 16, 2004
RACE RECAP IN-A-FLASH
NO. 77 STARTING POSITION – 42nd
NO. 77 TIME/SPEED – 21.941 Seconds/123.057 MPH
POLE POSITION – Brian Vickers
POLE TIME/SPEED – 20.772 Seconds/129.883 MPH
NO. 77 FINISHING POSITION – 34th
RACE WINNER – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (Started 4th)
NO. 77 DRIVER POINTS – 26th – (-587 behind leader)
NO. 77 OWNER POINTS – 26th
The night life did not treat the No. 77 Penske-Jasper Racing team well at Richmond International Raceway. With Jasper guests in the No. 77 pits and the grandstands, along with Gaughan's alma mater's basketball coaching staff on hand to show their support, the Georgetown University graduate hoped to once again claim a career-best finish for the fourth consecutive time. To say the least, his 34th-place finish was a disappointment.
Gaughan took a provisional to start the Chevy American Revolution 400 from the 42nd position. The field took the green flag and Gaughan gave his best effort to gain positions. He experienced tight handling conditions through the center of the turns as well as the exit, but with the aide of several adjustments on his Dodge, from air pressure changes to the tires and track bar adjustments, Gaughan continued to climb through the field.
He was posted one-lap down in the 27th position when he received a nudge from a fellow competitor; his car spun, and hit the outside wall. Gaughan's Jasper Engines and Transmissions Dodge received damage to the right side fender and the toe was knocked out. Under yellow flag conditions brought on by his spin, Gaughan made several stops for repairs to his JET machine. On lap 156, Gaughan notified the crew that something felt "broken" when he moved off the turns and he speculated it was the shock. Shane Wilson, Gaughan's crew chief, instructed him to pull into the garage for more cumbersome repairs. After replacing the shock and giving the car a once-over, Gaughan was sent back onto the track on lap 190. He was posted in the 37th position when he
returned to the track, 37 laps down.
With no one on his lap, Gaughan was able to settle in and race the track. Though he experienced a variance in handling conditions from extremely loose with sticker tires to tight while running the low line, Gaughan's lap times were competitive and at one point the No. 77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Dodge was able to pace laps with the fourth-place car.
Despite the adversity facing the team throughout the course of the 400-lap event, the Penske-Jasper pit crew performed its duties in stellar style, turning in two 13-second pit stops, one which was performed following the car's repairs.
With the 34th-place finish, Gaughan fell back to 26th in the points, 587 points out of first place, but just 187 points outside of the 400-point spread needed to make it into the "Chase for the Championship", which will begin when the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series returns to Richmond in September.
PENSKE-JASPER POWERED TEAMMATES
No. 2 Rusty Wallace
Start – 7th Finish – 16th
Driver Points – 14th Owner Points – 14th
No. 12 Ryan Newman
Start – 2nd Finish – 9th
Driver Points – 6th Owner Points – 6th
No. 77 Brendan Gaughan
Start – 42nd Finish – 34th
Driver Points – 26th Owner Points – 26th