Brendan Gaughan Post-Race Report - Texas
A cowboy at heart, Brendan Gaughan feels right at home at Texas Motor Speedway and he was cautiously optimistic heading into 23rd race of the season. After a productive test at Texas World Speedway, the South Point Racing crew saddled up “Lonestar” and headed to TMS, ready to ride and raring to go.
Gaughan was pleased with the team’s progress during practice and he responded with a 13th place qualifying effort that marked his best start at the 1.5-mile speedway since 2003 when he set the all-time record for four consecutive victories.
By Lap 20, Gaughan was riding comfortably in the high groove and it took him only 10 more laps to crack the top 10. On Lap 60, he flirted with disaster when the No. 77 Dodge broke lose coming off Turn 4 and turned completely sideways before he wrestled it back under control.
With the spectacular save, Gaughan lost only two positions and was able to avoid any damage to his favorite race truck.
Soon, however, it became apparent to the driver that something was amiss in the right rear. Gaughan began to lose positions and by Lap 80 he had lost lap and was just hanging on for the next opportunity to make a pit stop. That opportunity came just 11 laps later and after a pit stop that revealed nothing obviously wrong, he rejoined the race 24th in the running order.
The South Point Dodge still didn’t feel right to Gaughan but he did the best he could with what he had to work with and rallied back to finish 17th.
It wasn’t until after the race that the team discovered the right rear spring had worked itself out of its pocket and that was why the truck became so ill-handling during the race.
“We had a Dodge that was actually very good and we showed it most of the night,” Gaughan explained. “We came in for the first stop and the boys had a great pit stop. Right after that the truck went to a wicked-handling piece. I had one hell of a save from what it sounds like. I promised my guys years ago that I would never give up on a truck until it was firewall deep. I didn’t give up on it and the boys say it was a pretty exciting looking save.
“The handling on the truck went away and we weren’t sure what it was. We came in on our final pit stop and checked a few things but we couldn’t really chase down what it was. Just now we pulled it back in the garage and found that the right, rear spring came out of its pocket again and it’s not the first time it’s happened this year. So we’re going to remedy that situation with different spring buckets when we go to Phoenix.”