AUGUST 22, 2004
Brooklyn, Mich. (Aug. 20, 2004) - Brendan Gaughan’s hopes for a chance to start the GFS Marketplace 400 from the front of the pack were dashed when, for the second time in as many weeks, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series officials announced the cancellation of qualifying due to rain. According to NASCAR’s NEXTEL Cup rulebook, the field was set by owners’ points, placing Gaughan in the 30th position to take the green flag on Sunday, Aug. 22.
The Cup Series’ practice efforts also were affected by the inclement weather moving across Michigan's Irish Hills. After a delay in the morning, the drivers were permitted to take to the track shortly after noon, but they were shown the red flag 20 minutes prior to the scheduled end time of 1:30 p.m. when rain showers moved over turns three and four.
After running the 17th fastest lap during the morning practice session, the No. 77 Kodak Racing crew members knew they had a car capable of qualifying better than 30th. Thanks to Mother Nature, they will not have a chance to prove it.
“We were OK during practice, I mean we weren’t setting anything on fire, but we were on pace,” crew chief Shane Wilson said. “We had a couple of changes we wanted to make, but with 20 minutes cut from practice time we didn’t have the time. Regardless, we came here to race.”
With a sixth-place qualifying effort at Michigan International Speedway in June, the team was hoping for a repeat performance two months later. During the June event, Gaughan survived a first lap incident, which damaged the left quarter panel on the No. 77 Dodge and required several stops for repairs. Gaughan went on to lead the race for 13 laps before eventually slipping back in the pack after receiving four fresh tires during a pit stop. Gaughan went on to a 16th-place finish.