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Gaughan Will Start Nextel Open in the 10th Position

No. 77 Kodak Racing Team with Jasper Engines and Transmissions Hopes to Secure Transfer Position for NEXTEL All-Star Challenge

CONCORD, NC (May 21st, 2004) - Brendan Gaughan will start Saturday's NEXTEL Open from the 10th position as he attempts to claim a victory and earn one of two transfer positions in to the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. With both his teammates assured a starting spot for the non-points event, Gaughan hopes to join them in the all-star event for a Team Penske shootout.

Gaughan turned a 29.610-second lap on his qualifying run. He said the car was loose with sticker tires, but it bottomed out on the second run, which was typical for the other competitors during their qualifying laps at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Keeping with NASCAR's new tradition of “out with the old”, this year’s All-Star Challenge will host two transfer contenders, but one won't be determined on the track. The first transfer spot will be awarded to the winner of the Open, while the second transfer spot will be awarded by the fans’ vote.

“I want to win, I’ll always want to win,” Gaughan said. “Fortunately for me, if I don’t win the Open, I can hope for the best with the fans.

“We struggled a little bit today, but the Kodak Racing team will not give up. It’s hot out here, and they are still plugging away. If for nothing else, I need to do well for them.”

Gaughan’s Penske-Jasper-powered teammates secured their starting positions for the All-Star Challenge the old fashioned way, by winning an event since last year's running of the non-points event at Lowe's Motor Speedway, as well as being former winners of the all-star race.

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