Although the first four races of the year might have suggested otherwise, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rivals shouldn’t write off almost-2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Brendan Gaughan.
Gaughan, a back-to-back non-qualifier at Atlanta and Martinsville, returned to his old self with a slashing, come-from the rear performance in Saturday’s MBNA RacePoints 200.
Gaughan didn’t get the finish he earned – a late tangle with Dennis Setzer dropped the Las Vegas native from a sure top 10 to 16th – but the driver of the Jasper Engines & Transmissions Dodge had made a point.
And that should make the field a bit uneasy as Gaughan returns to Texas Motor Speedway this Friday with every intention of winning his fifth consecutive start at the 1.5-mile track.
Gaughan, a season-best eighth on May 20 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, was back to cracking wise after the race. He took a couple of days off to play pickup basketball with some his Georgetown University buddies and – along the way – got his shoulder length hair braided into corn rows.
Needless to say, the “do” attracted attention.
“You don’t show up with hair like this and expect not to run well,” he said afterwards.
There were no hard feelings after the Turn 3 accident which came on lap 192 as Gaughan and Setzer sought to overhaul Timothy Peters, the latter running anything like a rookie on old tires.
“The good thing about that is you if you get in a wreck with Setzer it’s a racing deal,” he explained. “He got crossed up. I saw an opening. I got to the outside of him and he tried to close the door and I was already there.”