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Untimely Caution Flag, Late Race Wreck Relegates Gaughan To 24th Place Finish At Texas Motor Speedway

Brendan Gaughan brought his favorite race truck to his favorite race track this weekend in hopes of giving his South Point Racing team a solid finish and a boost in the championship points standings.

But once again, bad luck bit the Las Vegas-based race team – and Gaughan left Texas Motor Speedway with a wrecked race truck and a 24th place finish. “Our luck has got to change,” Gaughan said. “We had a good truck – Lone Star – here this weekend and we were catching the leaders. And then our typical bad luck bit us.”

Gaughan started the Sam’s Town 400 in 18th place on the grid. When the caution came out on Lap 7, Gaughan told his crew chief Bryan Berry that his Chevrolet Silverado was too tight. Gaughan said the tight condition was making him overdrive the race truck, which in turn caused him to lose a few positions on the race track. Positions that the driver said he would get back.

Gaughan and crew elected to stay out on the race track under the first caution. Just a few laps later, the caution flag waved again. Gaughan was sitting in 20th place on the race track.

This time, the South Point Racing team elected to pit to help Gaughan’s tight race truck. The pit crew changed four tires, added fuel and put two rounds into the track bar. Gaughan restarted the race at Lap 23 in 26th place.

The rash of early cautions continued as the yellow flag waved again at Lap 26. Gaughan took the opportunity to tell his pit crew that the changes had really helped his race truck as he was able to get great runs off the corner and he could run the high line that he wanted to.

The race restarted again at Lap 30 with Gaughan sitting in 20th spot. He quickly went to work on the field ahead of him, passing one race truck after another with ease.

At Lap 49, Gaughan had broken into the top 10. Although Gaughan seemed to be cruising through the field, he told his team that the race truck was still just a little too tight for him.

Gaughan climbed as high as sixth place at Lap 61 before a problem developed.

At Lap 71, Gaughan radioed that he was slowing down on the race track because he felt a small vibration in the right rear. He was going to try and nurse the truck until the next pit stop.

But as the vibration got worse, Gaughan had to make his move to pit road. Gaughan pitted at Lap 76 under the green flag. A pit miscue kept Gaughan on pit road for a lengthy stop, and then as he left the pits, the caution flag waved for a wreck on the track.

Gaughan was caught by the caution flag and was now in 23rd spot, two laps down. Gaughan’s mission now was to work to get laps back and salvage a good finish for the South Point Racing team.

Despite being two laps down, Gaughan was running laps as quick as the leaders. He was able to gain positions and moved into the 20th spot before he had to pit for another tire problem. Gaughan pitted at Lap 132 to replace his worn right side tires.

As the rest of the field began green flag pit stops, Gaughan was able to move back into 20th place and was just three laps down. Gaughan was moving quickly through the field and was going to pick up several additional positions before the race ended.

However, with just 12 laps remaining, the No. 50 truck shot up the race track into Gaughan’s Chevrolet Silverado. Gaughan was forced into the outside wall on the front stretch, destroying the No. 77 truck.

Gaughan limped around the track and back into the garage, ending his day at Texas with a 24th-place finish.

“It’s just been a frustrating few weeks for us,” Gaughan said. “We haven’t been able to buy a break. We come to the track with great equipment and the South Point Racing guys do a great job to make sure we have a chance at a win every week. And then every week, our bad luck gets us. It has to turn around soon.”

© 2007 Cyber Speed Design