BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
AUGUST 27, 2004
BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 27, 2004) - Brendan Gaughan's day started off promising with a great practice session in the morning, but it ended with adversity as he hit the wall while coming out of turn four during his second qualifying lap for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The result: The 17th starting position for the No. 77 Kodak Easy Share Dodge.
During the morning practice session, the No. 77 Penske-Jasper Racing crew felt confident it would have a top-five starting position. The confidence level was so high that Gaughan parked his machine on pit road 20 minutes before practice ended. At the time, Gaughan's fastest lap was posted
in the top 10. Shortly after Gaughan parked his Dodge, clouds moved over Thunder Valley and the other competitors' times picked up, relegating Gaughan to 18th.
Gaughan was the 32nd driver out of 49 to make his qualifying attempt and was excited about the late draw. Under sunny skies, Gaughan made his first lap, which secured his start. On his second loop around the 0.533-mile track, Gaughan slipped into the high groove and then into the wall coming out of turn four.
Immediately following the wreck, the team discussed its plan of action and decided to avoid the back-up car, thus maintaining its mid-field starting position.
Gaughan said the car was loose on his first lap, but he knew it had more speed in it, so he went for it.
"We were fast in practice this morning, so I knew we could be better," Gaughan said. "Unfortunately, I created a lot of work for the Kodak Racing team. We know this is a better car than the back-up, so we are going to fix it and as 'Larry the Cable Guy' would say, 'Git her done.' Luckily for us, our fab shop manager, Jeffrey Baker, is up here at Bristol with us, and Cesar Bustos, a body man from the shop, is on his way."
Gaughan's Penske-Jasper-powered teammates Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace will start from the fourth and 13th positions, respectively.