Brendan Gaughan Post-Race Report - Texas
Brendan Gaughan rolled into the Sam’s Town 400 determined to reclaim the magic that led him to four consecutive victories at Texas Motor Speedway in 2002 and 2003.
That was a realistic enough goal right up until Lap 55 when the handling on the No. 77 Dodge did a disappearing act and left Gaughan hanging onto the steering wheel for all he was worth and praying for a caution.
An 18th place qualifying effort put Gaughan mid-pack for the start of the race. He was running 12th when the first caution flew on Lap 22 and gave him the opportunity to hit pit road for service. The crew held their position with a quick four-tire change and adjustment and sent their driver back on track.
Gaughan made more forward progress after the restart and by Lap 40 he was running 10th. A caution on Lap 50 prompted the second round of pit stops and this time the crew went with two tires and more adjustments. It was a move that put Gaughan in sixth place and within spitting distance of the top five.
As soon as the race went back to green, Gaughan knew there was something terribly wrong. In the blink of an eye, the truck picked up a loose condition that was next to impossible to control. The Orleans Racing Dodge backslid through the field at an alarming rate and left Gaughan hoping for a caution that didn’t come soon enough.
By the time Gaughan cried “Uncle” and turned down pit road he had lost two laps and was running 31st. The situation went from bad to worse when the caution flag flew just three laps later and caught the No. 77 team another lap down.
Gaughan soldiered on to a 26th place finish and fell one spot in the point standings from 16th to 17th.