Brendan Gaughan Post-Race Report - Atlanta
Brendan Gaughan was on track to record a strong finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway but he had a little trouble, literally where the rubber met the road.
Mother Nature washed out practice on Friday and turned the Atlanta race into a one-day affair that began early in the morning and didn’t end until well after the sun set.
Gaughan qualified 23rd for the 130-lap event, which wasn’t a problem considering that the 1.5-mile speedway is a racy place which offers plenty of opportunity to pass. Unfortunately for Gaughan, the second set of tires didn’t agree with his Dodge and instead of going forward he lost ground to the point that he went down a lap to the leader.
After another pit stop and some fresh rubber all around, Gaughan was finally able to gather some momentum. When the caution flew on Lap 96 the South Point Dodge was in line to receive the free pass back onto the lead lap.
The good times lasted for Orleans Racing right up until Gaughan’s right, front tire went flat and he skimmed off the wall. With no caution to help, he lost two laps during the green flag pit stop. From there Gaughan held on to finish 26th.
“We definitely weren’t as good as we wanted to be,” said the disappointed driver. “We had a set of tires in the middle of the race that just made us junk. I drove 20 laps on cords and it was like driving a dirt track car. It’s amazing that we didn’t destroy our Dodge today.”
Gaughan was, however, impressed with the teamwork exhibited by his crew in the face of adversity.
“What I really liked today was that the guys didn’t quit on me,” Gaughan continued. “They had great pit stops. We beat people off pit road and it was awesome. When we made a bunch of adjustments including putting two spring rubbers in, they took their time and they were all good adjustments. This was Bryan Berry’s first race on the pit box (as crew chief) and he did a fine job. The guys all stayed calm.
“It wasn’t what we wanted but at least there were some positives.”
Gaughan and the boys will take that positive attitude to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend for Race #23.