The 2005 season was supposed to mark Brendan Gaughan’s successful drive for five Texas Motor Speedway victories. Instead it will go down in the record books as the season when Gaughan failed to post a top 25 finish at one of his favored places to race.
In June, electrical problems dashed Gaughan’s hopes and relegated him to a 27th place finish.
Things didn’t run a whole lot smoother for the Jasper Engines & Transmissions team during their return engagement to the 1.5-mile speedway.
Gaughan’s customary race week warm up at Texas World Speedway gave him reason to be optimistic but the speed found there just didn’t translate when the team unloaded for the 23rd race of the season.
The No. 77 Dodge started nearly shot gun on the field in 34th and just refused to respond positively to any adjustments made by the crew, no matter what crew chief “Rambo” Liberati and crew shoved at truck No. 16.
Gaughan eventually parked his ride after the driveshaft began to vibrate late in the race.
“We just got caught with our pants down,” said Liberati after loading up. “This Orleans team is going to go back to the shop and we’re going to work like convicts and we’re going to make our stuff better.”
Confounded Liberati added, “This truck (No. 16) ran good at Vegas and it didn’t run good at Texas. We know that Brendan can get around Texas, so we are going to work extremely hard. I’m going to take this little outing here and use it as incentive to work really hard and get a whole lot better. What ever it takes. I don’t care if we have to put the roof on upside down and turn the nose around or whatever we’ve got to do but we have got to get better. There’s no way that we can be this bad. This is embarrassing.
“We made it through. The driver did a good job getting out there and getting passed by everybody about every ten laps. The pit crew was good. Everybody was good. Nothing fell off the truck.”
Offering his perspective on the evening driver Brendan Gaughan added, “The pit crew was awesome. What the folks at home didn’t get to see was that we came in one time with seven or eight lap down trucks and beat them all off pit road to earn the lucky dog. That was a great, great pit stop. I’m very proud of our guys for that.”
Going on to note the lengths his team went to to try to fix his ride Gaughan said, “Lance Wilson, our truck chief and normally our rear tire changer became our front, rear, rear, front tire changer. He changed all four tires and we did it under caution without losing a lap. Lance got the call to do a solo four tire stop so the rest of the crew could change the camber.
“I’m very proud of the pit crew guys for their hard work. They tried their hardest.”
With the Texas landscape now in the rearview mirror Liberati and crew will concentrate on the upcoming Phoenix race, which will take place the evening of November 11th.