Gaughan And Not Forgotten

Life goes on for Brendan Gaughan after the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

He couldn't have been happier after helping Steve Park cap a four- year comeback by winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Feb. 25 in Fontana, Calif.

Gaughan should still be driving the No. 77 Cup car of Penske-Jasper Racing, but a member of my Big Ear Posse says the person who pushed him out after one season was John Erickson, a minority owner of the team.

If that's true, then Erickson did Gaughan a favor.

Not even legendary jockey Willie Shoemaker could win the Kentucky Derby riding Mr. Ed, a plow horse or a bob-tail nag.

Gaughan didn't get the best cars, but he was made the scapegoat for the team's dismal season last year, in which he finished 28th.

If Gaughan was the Achilles' heel, then why are two major owners of that team still supporting him? Doug Bawel of Jasper Engines and Transmissions is sponsoring Gaughan in the truck series, and Rusty Wallace wants Gaughan to drive his car in the Busch Series for a couple of races.

It sounds as if the Penske-Jasper team needs to buy out at least one owner if it wants to win instead of playing musical chairs with drivers.

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