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Gaughan to drive No. 10 Ford for Circle Bar Racing

Craftsman Truck Series veteran Brendan Gaughan, who's raced virtually his entire 137-race career in family owned trucks, is testing a No. 10 Ford on Friday at Daytona International Speedway -- the opening day of the second session of Preseason Thunder -- with his new team, Circle Bar Racing. (speeds)

Gaughan brought four crewmen and crew chief Bryan Berry to the Circle Bar team from the defunct South Point Racing team owned by his father, Michael Gaughan. With continued sponsorship from International Truck and Engine Corp. of Tom Mitchell and daughter Lisa's two-truck effort at Circle Bar Racing, Gaughan will team with 11-year series veteran Rick Crawford, who drives the No. 14 Ford.

"I really want to thank the Mitchells for giving me this opportunity, and Rick Crawford for helping to get it in place," Gaughan said. "I appreciate the fact that Circle Bar Racing found value, not only in me, but my crew as well, and now it's time to go win races in the No. 10 International MaxxForce Diesel Ford -- I wore No. 10 when I played high school football and now I'm looking forward to driving it into Victory Lane."

With eight career Craftsman Truck Series victories to his credit -- including a stretch of four consecutive wins at Texas Motor Speedway between 2002 and 2003 -- Gaughan will look to improve on last year's 11th-place finish in points.

"It's exciting to know that I'm stepping into a competitive situation right from the get-go, and I look forward to building on the accomplishments of an organization that has been a staple in the Craftsman Truck Series for more than a decade," Gaughan said. "I've had my best results at Texas Motor Speedway in the past, and knowing that it's the home track for Mr. Mitchell and Circle Bar, that just adds to the anticipation of the season."

Circle Bar Racing expanded to a two-truck operation in 2007 and experienced immediate success, posting two top-10 finishes in the final driver point standings. With Crawford behind the wheel of Circle Bar Racing's flagship No. 14 Ford since its Truck Series debut in 1997, the organization has posted five victories and four poles.

"We couldn't be prouder to have Brendan representing Circle Bar Racing, International and Ford," said Lisa Mitchell, Circle Bar Racing's chief operating officer. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership from his previous role, and he knows what it takes to race for wins and a championship. We feel with the combination of Rick Crawford and Brendan Gaughan, Circle Bar Racing will not only be one of the toughest competitors on the track, but one of the most entertaining off the track, as well."

Circle Bar Racing was established in 1978 and has been synonymous with Ford Motor Co. since becoming involved in motorsports, having competed in nothing but Ford products in that time. The organization, which has competed in the Indianapolis 500, CART and NASCAR, was formed by Tom Mitchell and is headquartered in Ozona, Texas.

"I'm excited to have Brendan as a teammate at Circle Bar Racing, and I'm ready to start the 2008 season and head to the high banks of Daytona with Kevin 'Cowboy' Starland [No. 14 crew chief] and Bryan Berry leading our two teams," said Crawford, winner of the 2003 Daytona Truck race. "We have high expectations for the season, and we'll both be looking to make bold moves out on the racetrack in our International Truck and Engine Ford F-150s."

The 2008 Craftsman Truck Series season commences on Feb. 15 at Daytona with the running of the ninth annual Chevy Silverado 250. Live action can be seen on SPEED, the exclusive home of the Craftsman Truck Series.

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