Gaughan Excited, Confident For Second Go Around At Atlanta
For Brendan Gaughan, the March 2007 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway marked his South Point Racing team’s first top-10 of the season.
Gaughan hopes that the return trip to Atlanta this weekend will bring about another first for his team this year – their first win.
“We’re back to a track that I love,” Gaughan said. “I was lucky to get out of Martinsville with an 11th-place finish, and I’m happy to be heading back to some tracks that suit my style of racing. It’s a fast, big track, and you can race anywhere from the apron to the wall – of course, I’ll be running the high line.
“We ran well there in the spring and came home with a sixth-place finish. We’re going back there expecting better things this time around.”
The South Point Racing team will be taking T-17 to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Although the truck hasn’t raced this year, the team has tested it at Chicagoland in preparation for race action.
“We tested it in Chicagoland and it ran the same speed as the 16 truck, which is the one we ran Michigan with and finished third,” said crew chief Bryan Berry. “At the test, we spent more time on the 16 truck than we did the 17 truck.
“So, we have taken everything that we learned from the Michigan truck and put it on this truck because they were sister trucks. We have made it match the 16 truck since we lost that one in Las Vegas .”
The fact that the truck hasn’t been raced this year doesn’t worry Berry . In fact, the crew chief of the No. 77 South Point Chevrolet Silverado is confident that the team will have a solid showing at the 1.54-mile Georgia track.
“This is a track that suits Brendan and his driving style,” Berry said. “The aero package that we have with the Chevrolets on these mile-and-a-half tracks and what we have put together works with Brendan’s driving style, which is running the top of the track everywhere we go.
“In my opinion, we should be a lot better at Atlanta this time around than we were in the spring even though we can’t take the same truck back.”
Berry said that he and the team have been combing through their notes from the spring race at Atlanta and tests at Homestead and Chcagoland. With all of that information, the team is quietly confident as they head to Atlanta this weekend and the other mile-and-a-half tracks – Texas and Homestead – that are still to come before the end of the season.
“We’re looking forward to each of the races coming up,” Berry said. “Brendan and this team have excelled at mile-and-a-half tracks in the past, and we’re optimistic that we will do well again in the upcoming races.
“We have the same goals we started with on Feb. 16 at Daytona – and that’s to win. If we lead the most laps and we win, we’re going to accumulate more points than anybody else there, and that’s an easy way to make up ground in the points chase.”