Long Pond, Pa. (July 30, 2004) - Pocono Raceway has long been known for fog so thick in the mornings that the grandstands cannot be seen by the competitors in the garage area. This stop for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series at the 2.5 mile triangle-shaped track was no different. After inclement weather lingered into the early afternoon delaying Friday’s activities, a revised schedule was put into effect and the drivers of NASCAR’s premier series began their shortened practice session in an effort to find their qualifying set-ups.
Brendan Gaughan was the 35th driver of 46 to make his qualifying attempt for the Pennsylvania 500. Gaughan, who was pleased with the handling of his No. 77 Kodak EasyShare Dodge car following practice, ran a lap time of 52.739 seconds to secure the 10th starting position.
Following his lap, Gaughan was greeted by his mentor, Buddy Baker, as he climbed from the cockpit of the Kodak Racing Dodge. Baker commended Gaughan on his lap time and his performance.
Gaughan was excited about the lap time but said, “I really missed turn one. I just didn’t get it down quick enough. I knew I had a good lap time when I came through turn three though. Turn three was my nemesis back in June, and this time I am much more comfortable getting through there.”
Gaughan’s Penske-Jasper-powered teammates, Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman, qualified 12th and 30th, respectively.