Gaughan Says Nashville Is The Track To Turn His Luck Around
Brendan Gaughan has never finished lower than sixth-place at Nashville Superspeedway, and he wants to keep it that way.
Gaughan believes he has the truck, the team and the overall program to keep that streak alive. He just needs a little luck.
“I keep saying that we just need our luck to turn around – I’m like a broken record,” Gaughan said. “But until it does turn around, I’m going to keep saying it – we need some good luck.”
Gaughan and his South Point Racing team have been solid all season – running in the top 10 in nearly every race. But the finishes haven’t been what the team has wanted or expected (Gaughan has four top-10s in 14 starts). The team has had a blown engine, been a victim of several untimely wrecks and while running third with only a handful of laps remaining at Kentucky Speedway just a few weeks ago, Gaughan cut a tire and fell to 22nd.
Call it racing luck. Call it bad luck. Call it no luck. Gaughan just wants to go out on the race track and prove how good he knows that his South Point Racing team is.
“The truck we are taking to Nashville is the same truck we raced at Kentucky , so we know we have a solid Chevrolet Silverado to race this weekend,” Gaughan said. “With all the assistance that we have been getting from Chevrolet lately, I think our aero program – which is important at Nashville – is definitely on par with anybody else. We just have to go to Nashville , find a high groove and try to go run top five again and not have something stupid happen.
“The pit crew guys have been solid for me. The guys at the shop have done a phenomenal job of staying ahead of the game this year. I think we have a lot of good positives here. But that monkey is still just clawing onto our back. Tenth place at Indy last week helps. We’ll just see if we can shake a little more of our bad luck this weekend.”
Crew chief Bryan Berry knows that one way to change the bad luck is to put in even more effort to make good luck for the team. Berry , along with shock specialist Mike Roos and mechanic Harley Rauch spent five days in Warren , MI , at the GM Test Lab working with Chevrolet engineers to come up with the best setup for Nashville .
“We went straight from Kentucky with that truck to the lab,” Berry said. “ Kentucky and Nashville are similar in a lot of ways setup wise, so we had a good starting point. Being able to go work on the truck and use this type of technology gives us a head start when we get to Nashville especially since we can’t go test.
“It gives us information that we can fall back on and helps us decide which direction we want to go on our changes. Hopefully, we’ll unload as close as we can to being the best truck, and we’ll be able to use some of the notes to make us better.”
Gaughan calls Nashville his kind of race track. It’s big and wide, which is perfect for Gaughan, who likes to run the high line. Just look at his record on the 1.33-mile, concrete oval – Gaughan has two fifth-place finishes (2003, 2006) and two sixth-place finishes (2002, 2005). But Gaughan wants more than that, especially since Nashville gives the winner a Sam Bass-designed Gibson guitar.
“ Nashville has a pretty cool trophy,” Gaughan said. “I’m not much of a guitar player, but my spotter Billy Holbrook is. And I know Billy Holbrook would play the heck out of that guitar.”
The guitar isn’t the only reason Gaughan wants to win at Nashville . For the second time this year, the No. 77 South Point Silverado will be carrying a special decal honoring his dad and team owner, Michael Gaughan, who was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in the “notables” category in Colorado Springs, Co., on July 14.
“I was the only son or grandson not there for his induction and that was kind of a bummer. I really wanted to be there for him that night,” Gaughan said. “We had a great night going for him there at Kentucky , and I know they said he had his chest pumped out. He was ready to have a big, good party night.
“It’s the same truck this weekend – we didn’t hurt it at Kentucky so we’re leaving the ProRodeo decal on it. I’m proud as hell of my daddy being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Hopefully this time, Dad can be sitting back at the South Point Casino, watching the race, and we can give him a better finish and something to celebrate.”