FORD RACING: Brendan Gaughan Q and A
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the No. 10 International MAXX Force Diesel by International Ford, has three top-10 finishes at the short track of O' Reilly Raceway Park. Gaughan talks about short track racing and the significance of winning in Indianapolis.
YOU HAD A FEW DAYS OFF, BUT YOU WENT RACING. HOW DID IT GO? "On Wednesday night, Kenny Schrader does his M&Ms Night of the Stars race at the track he owns in Pevely, Missouri. It's an annual event, this year he had Tony Stewart show up, and Dave Blaney is always there and Kenny raced, well, he owns the track, so you expect him to race. This was third year that I got invited to do it. I really appreciate him bringing me out. I've actually had the chance to race with the same race car every year. Dennis Young owns the car. He drives there locally, it's his dirt modified that he lets me run. We finished second. I led the most laps and had a straightaway on the field, but a late race caution, caused by Hornaday. He brought out a caution and Dave Blaney just schooled me on the restart. It's a dirt track. When I finish second to Blaney, I'm thinking that's a win for me."
CAN YOU CLAIM BRAGGING RIGHTS FOR THE SECOND PLACE FINISH? "You bet. And I'm bragging because I only lost to Dave Blaney."
ON RACING AT O'REILLY RACEWAY PARK. "I've actually had better finishes here than I'm given credit for, I think. I do like O'Reilly Raceway Park. Now with it being the Ford Power Stroke Diesel 200 and me being in the International MAXX Force Diesel truck - it's our sponsor. Rick and I actually have spots [pit stalls] side-by-side. I do know that these three sections of grandstands right here [turn four] are all International folks. I think they said they have something like 3,000 people coming. This is definitely a race that you want to look good at when it's your own sponsor. This team is ready to win. We have proved we can run up front. We just have to get out of everybody's mess. I think this team is going to do some great things the second half of this season. We just got to play on the good things, know what we did wrong the first half, know what we didn't do wrong that just cost us. We're playing on the fact that we have great engines, we have good engineering help, we have good trucks and we can go win races and do it."
THE CIRCLE BAR PIT STALLS ARE LOCATED AT PIT IN. HOW DOES THAT IMPACT YOUR RACE? OR DOES IT? "It really doesn't. This track is big enough that you don't have to worry about losing a lap trying to change four tires. What's nice is being back here, as you're driving out, you've got to pay attention to make sure nobody comes out and pinches you in the wall. But Rick and I can get our service done and not have to battle people on the way in. We think it should work out well for us. With any luck, we're just coming in on sequence and doing the standard adjustments, so you're not wasting a lot of time and see if we'll go win a race."
WILL THE FANS SEE THE STANDARD SHORT TRACK FRIDAY NIGHT RACING? "Yeah, we'll have typical Friday night short track racing as long as it doesn't rain too long. They say it's supposed to rain at some point today, but as long as we can get half the race in, that's a full race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO YOU TO WIN HERE? "Just to get off the slide. We've had so many years now of struggles that have just kind of driven you mad. Me, Bryan Berry and all the guys at the No. 10 Circle Bar side, we've been great at race tracks but we just haven't had the great finishes. We've run up front, but we haven't finished there. We want to win a race really bad right now. And to be able to do when it's your own sponsor. To be able to do it for Ford, I have never won in a Ford truck, I'd love to be able to do it. And say, 'Hey, we're here. We're back,' and start that charge towards the top five in points."
DO YOU LIKE RACING HERE? "I do like it. I usually say I don't like short tracks, but this is a high-grooved race track and that means it works for me. I like the high groove."
THIS IS A BIG WEEKEND FOR THE RACE TEAM, YOUR SPONSORS AND RICK. "Yeah, Rick Crawford. I'm not going to say how old he is, I'll let someone else say how old he's turning this weekend. I believe Sunday is his birthday and I'm glad I'm around him. I've known him a long time and I'm honored to be his teammate. This is a very special birthday for him; it's a big deal. I'm glad to be here with him and share it with him. For his team or for him, either one of us, I know it would be a big celebration if we could get a win this weekend."