Brendan Gaughan Pre-Race Report - Fontana

by Mike Snow - Orleans Racing

Driver: Brendan Gaughan
Owner: Michael Gaughan
Event: American Racing Wheels 200
California Speedway --- Fontana, Ca
Race: Friday, February 25th, 2005 – 6 pm (PST)
Qualifying: Friday, February 25, 2005 – 10:00 am (PST)
2.0-mile oval, 200 miles/100 laps

Notes of Interest:

Fade to Black: Driver Brendan Gaughan will wheel an all black #77 Dodge Ram this weekend at Fontana. Gaughan’s Dodge will sport American Racing Wheels livery for this weekend’s event.

The piece: Gaughan will drive Orleans Racing’s T10 truck. This Dodge Ram’s last outing came at Dover in 2004, where it finished 13th.

Gaughan at California: No doubt this Las Vegas based driver likes fast tracks, such as Fontana. The records show that if Gaughan is running at the finish at the California Speedway he’s scored a top-10.

2004 (NNCS) start 5th finish 6th : start 22nd finish 42nd --- 2003 (NCTS) start 1st finish 2nd --2002 (NCTS) start 9th finish 3rd

Gaughan on Fontana:

“California is different than Daytona as far as high speed, it’s actually faster. No more restricting the engine of air. It’s a wide-open race back on the West Coast. It is the American Racing 200. I finished second and third in two of the three years they’ve had that race and we should have won it both years. We had the best Dodge on the track and just had a flat tire one year and got beat the other year.

“Steve Park is going to run the Jasper Dodge that weekend, so we’re really going to confuse the fans and confuse NASCAR but I like to keep it that way because it keeps everyone on their toes.”

IS THERE ANY TRICK TO GETTING AROUND CALIFORNIA? – “Trick? No. In the Truck Series it’s just a fast place. A lot of people don’t like places that are that fast. You’ve got to go there with a race car that’s got a good amount of downforce so it can get through a corner. I think in the past that was what made the Orleans team so good – Kevin Kroyer power made up for our issue of too much downforce on the straightaway but in a corner we’d take our Dodge up to the high groove and pass everybody.

“Billy Wilburn and I have talked and Charlie Wilson and Steve have talked and we’re kind of going back to those old theories. Put a little downforce in it and make our engine builder, Kevin Kroyer build us horsepower.”

THIS IS A WEEKEND WHERE ORLEANS RACING DOESN’T HAVE TO TRAVEL AS FAR AS EVERYBODY ELSE. – “It is kind of nice, especially after wrecking three trucks at Daytona. It is nice to be able to go, ‘Hey, you guys have got to come out and battle us this week. The semis leave five hours before they have to pull into the garage. It is kind of nice to have that. Last year I think the schedule favored the Orleans team better where you had to go East Coast – West Coast – East Coast – West Coast – it kind of made it too easy for everybody else. But after the rough start we got off to at Daytona and after how much work the Orleans team has been doing a little home cooking is just what we ordered.”

Meet the Crew:

Name Hometown Shop Duties Race Day Duties
Brendan Gaughan Las Vegas, NV General Manager Driver
Billy Wilburn Kernersville, NC Crew Chief Crew Chief
Travis Sharpe Bassett, VA Truck Chief Rear Tire Carrier
TBD Rear Tire Changer
Chris Boller Prescott, AZ Truck Driver Front Tire Carrier
Josh White Bakersfield, CA Rear Suspension Front Tire Changer
Craig Nemes Bothell, WA Mechanic Jackman
Scott Witz Tucson, AZ Fabricator Gas Man
Mike Robinson Toole, UT Mechanic Catch Can
Ray Poyner Engineer Engineer
Listen in on the #77: The team’s primary radio frequency is 451.3371.

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