INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
AUGUST 8, 2004
RACE RECAP IN-A-FLASH
NO. 77 STARTING POSITION – 30th
POLE POSITION – Casey Mears
NO. 77 FINISHING POSITION – 35th
RACE WINNER – Jeff Gordon
Speedway, IN -- August 8, 2004 - Brendan Gaughan’s Brickyard debut ended with a 35th place finish after contact with another competitor. In spite of Gaughan’s misfortune, he praised the Jasper Engines and Transmissions racing team for their performance.
Gaughan started the event from the 30th position, next to his teammate, Rusty Wallace. While he was not satisfied with his starting position, he was committed to turning in a great finish.
Gaughan’s day began with tight handling conditions. After the first stop with four tires and a chassis adjustment, Gaughan complained of handling conditions that were too loose. In an effort to correct the situation, Shane Wilson instructed the Penske-Jasper powered pit crew to provide another chassis adjustment in an effort to provide more grip.
Still Gaughan complained of loose handling conditions, but eventually the car's handling came around and Gaughan was able to pilot the car to mid-pack. On lap 74, Gaughan was posted 23rd and shortly after he informed Wilson and his pit crew that the car felt better than it had all day.
After a two-tire stop with fuel, Gaughan was posted in the 13th position for a restart on lap 93. He moved into 12th briefly, but fell back into 13th just before a fellow rookie competitor, Kasey Kahne, made a move that ultimately ended Gaughan’s day.
Kahne moved his No. 9 Dodge up on Gaughan’s quarter panel. Eventually, the No. 9 was side-by-side with Gaughan’s machine. Driving hard, as both drivers have become known for, Kahne had Gaughan’s machine pinned high. Gaughan kept the Jasper stock car off the wall, only to make contact when Kahne moved up the track and into Gaughan. The Jasper ride then cut a tire and Gaughan spun, hitting the wall. The damage sustained prevented the car from being driven back to the garage area for assessment.
Gaughan’s day ended with a visit to the infield care center where he was found free from injury and released immediately. Even with his 35th place finish, Gaughan praised the team and their top-notch efforts throughout the weekend.
“Once again, the finish is not indicative of this Penske-Jasper Racing team,” Gaughan said. “They worked real hard today, all weekend really, and we finally had the car necessary to be competitive. Not only did we have the car, but also Shane’s calls in the pits helped me to gain positions. We’ll never know if that 13th place would have held up, but I sure would have liked to see the checkered flag in the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Dodge to find out. I guess Kahne needed that position more than me.”