JUNE 13, 2004
RACE RECAP IN-A-FLASH
NO. 77 STARTING POSITION – 31st
POLE POSITION – Kasey Kahne
NO. 77 FINISHING POSITION – 39th
RACE WINNER – Jimmie Johnson (Started 5th)
NO. 77 DRIVER POINTS – 29th
NO. 77 OWNER POINTS – 29th
It was an early exit for the No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Racing team at Pocono Raceway. After struggling with handling conditions in the early laps, Brendan Gaughan admittedly made a rookie mistake and missed a shift causing the engine to give way, ending the day and posting a 39th-place finish on lap 59.
Gaughan, who struggled during the practice sessions Friday and Saturday, qualified 31st for his first outing at the Pennsylvania track. Ready to put the weekend behind him, Gaughan climbed into his machine and prepared to complete the 200-lap event. Shane Wilson discussed his expectations for the event during the pre-race team meeting.
"It has been a rough weekend for all of us, but we have worked hard," he told them. "Don't stop now. We just need to get through to the checkered flag, and we can move on to the [Virginia International Raceway] test and Michigan. Just remember, we have come this far. Just stick with our plan and we may be able to turn the 31st starting position into a top-20 finish."
Gaughan made his first pit stop for adjustments under green-flag conditions on lap 35. He received a chassis adjustment along with four tires and fuel. Gaughan returned to the track and reported back to Wilson that the handling had not improved. In an effort to establish the root of the handling issue Gaughan was experiencing, Wilson instructed the pit crew to reverse the chassis adjustment on the next stop, which they did under yellow flag conditions on lap 53.
The field took the green flag on lap 55 and Gaughan was posted in the 29th position, the first car one lap down. Shortly after reporting back to the team on lap 58 that the car was tight entering the turns but loose exiting them, Gaughan missed the shift.
Climbing from the car back in the garage, Gaughan said, "I made a rookie mistake. I missed the shift. These Penske-Jasper Engines are strong, but they can't handle that type of mistake. We'll just move forward from here."
The Penske-Jasper Racing team travels to VIR Wednesday to continue preparations for the upcoming road course race at Infineon Raceway in California's Napa Valley.
The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series returns to action at Michigan Speedway on Sunday, June 20.
PENSKE-JASPER POWERED TEAMMATES
No. 2 Rusty Wallace
Start – 30th Finish – 32nd
Driver Points – 15th Owner Points – 15th
No. 12 Ryan Newman
Start –11th Finish – 30th
Driver Points – 10th Owner Points – 10th
No. 77 Brendan Gaughan
Start – 31st Finish – 39th