ROCK & ROLL 400
RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
SEPTEMBER 11, 2004
Richmond, VA (September 11, 2004) – It wasn’t a stellar performance at Richmond International Raceway, but Brendan Gaughan and the Kodak/Jasper Racing team feel it was a step in the right direction. Gaughan turned in a 27th place finish in the Rock & Roll 400. After posting six DNF’s in a row, Gaughan crossed the line at the checkered flag and though it was not a lead lap finish, the team’s spirits soared.
Over the course of the 400 lap event, Shane Wilson instructed the Penske-Jasper Racing pit crew through chassis adjustments in an attempt to free the car’s handling up in the center of the turns. While each adjustment was an improvement, it was not enough to get Gaughan back on the lead lap at the .75-mile oval.
Typical of short-track racing, the night was filled with multi-car incidents which brought out the caution flag. On lap 170, the caution flag was displayed for an incident involving the No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Racing Dodge. Scott Wimmer’s Dodge hit the wall and several drivers hit their brakes to avoid a wreck. Gaughan followed suit, but David Green, making his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start this year, hit Gaughan’s Dodge in the left rear. Gaughan’s machine completed a 360 degree turn in front of the rest of the field.
Following the spin, the team watched the replay and could not believe the save. When pit road was open, Gaughan came in for service. He received four tires and fuel along with a chassis adjustment while the team assessed the damage. To their amazement the only mark on the car was on the lower bumper where Green initially made contact. The Kodak/Jasper Racing team took this as a small sign that their luck could be changing.
Later in the event and immediately following a pit stop, the team was distracted when Gaughan keyed the microphone from his car to laugh over the radio. Apparently, Gaughan had only just realized a mistake he made during his stop. A fresh Gatorade had been handed to Gaughan in an attempt to keep him hydrated. In his attempt to throw the used drink bottle from the car, he accidentally dumped the fresh beverage and Gaughan said, “If that is the biggest mistake I make all night, then we are doing all right!”
The team will return to action on Sunday, September 19 at New Hampshire International Raceway.