by Mike Snow - Orleans Racing
That sound you hear is Brendan Gaughan and the Jasper Engines & Transmissions team beginning to make some noise as the Craftsman Truck Series hurtles toward the second half of the season.
After a rocky start to their 2005 campaign, the gel is gelling, the stars are aligning and the No. 77 is flying.
Gaughan overcame a one-lap deficit in Saturday's race at Kansas Speedway and then clawed his way through the field to finish eighth and record his second consecutive top 10 finish.
Gaughan has finished no worse than 11th in the last three events but his chances of getting a top 10 streak going looked grim in the early going.
After the green flag dropped, Gaughan’s truck was so loose that he lost a lap to the leaders before the first caution came out and was running 29th.
It took just one pit stop for crew chief Rambo Liberati to diagnose the problem and call for the proper adjustments and when the second caution flew on lap 52 Gaughan was in position to get the free pass back onto the lead lap.
It was nothing but forward progress for the No. 77 Dodge from there to the checkers.
“Wow, what a race,” the Las Vegas native driver said after climbing from his Jasper Engines Dodge. “My truck was evil loose at the start but it didn’t take long for Rambo (crew chief, Tony Liberati) to get the balance where it needed to be. From then on my boys in the pits got it done ---- it was a great day for the Jasper Engines Dodge.”
The KC event provided an excellent platform in the Craftsman Truck Series standings for the 77 Dodge team after they climbed two spots in the standings, to 22nd. Gaughan has scored more points in his 10 completed events than four others who have run all 12 points paying events run so far on the 2005 schedule.