Loudon, NH (September 17, 2004) - After what looked like a good qualifying run for the Kodak Racing Dodge, rain showers moved over the New Hampshire International Speedway and NASCAR officials were forced to cancel the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying efforts. Brendan Gaughan will start the Sylvania 300 from the 32nd position.
Gaughan could not hide his disappointment after the cancellation but is looking forward to running the practice sessions on Saturday, Sept. 18 to improve his machine’s handling.
“I definitely didn’t want to start from the back of the field,” Gaughan said. “It is difficult enough to pass at New Hampshire without help from Mother Nature.”
During the Friday morning practice session, Gaughan’s best lap was recorded as the 28th fastest. Gaughan’s Kodak Racing team improved the car’s handling after each run increasing Gaughan’s confidence in his qualifying efforts.
51 drivers entered the Sylvania 500; Gaughan was the 11th driver of 16 who made their qualifying attempt before the inclement weather moved into the area. Following Gaughan’s effort, the Kodak Racing team listened intently to the NASCAR frequency as the officials discussed the imminent rain showers they were monitoring on the radar the radar. Rodney Childers, the Kodak Racing team’s car chief, was disappointed when NASCAR made their announcement.
“We know we have a better car than the 32nd starting position,” Childers said. “We felt like we had a top-15 car, but now we’ll never know. Hopefully, Brendan can stay away from trouble and make some passes early to hopefully avoid being lapped.”
Following NASCAR guidelines, the 43 car field will be set according to owners’ points. Gaughan’s Penske-Jasper powered teammates, Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace, will roll off 10th and 17th respectively.