Gaughan Brings HOYA Pride To The Monster Mile
Brendan Gaughan will tackle Dover’s ‘Monster Mile’ this weekend with an extra shot of confidence as he sports a special Georgetown University paint scheme on his No. 77 Chevrolet Silverado.
For Gaughan, Georgetown is second only to his love of racing.
“There aren’t many race car drivers period that have college degrees especially from colleges that are the caliber of a Georgetown University,” Gaughan said. “When I get to run that paint scheme, it’s an honor and a privilege to me. I’m proud to be a Hoya.”
This weekend at Dover, Gaughan will honor his school and its athletic programs on the race track. Following the race, Gaughan will donate all his winnings from the Dover race back to the University where he learned many life lessons.
“Being part of Georgetown and its athletic program is something that I am so proud of, which is why I want to represent them on my race truck,” said Gaughan, whose No. 77 Chevrolet will feature the Georgetown basketball logo and the team’s mascot, Jack the Bulldog. “Coach (John) Thompson was so much more than a coach or a teacher – he was a friend, a hero, a mentor. I want to make him and the entire athletic department proud with our truck and our run at Dover.
“I can’t think of a better way to give back to a place that meant so much to me.”
The Las Vegas native attended Georgetown University and graduated in 1997 with a degree in business management. But Gaughan did more than attend classes while at Georgetown – he participated in two collegiate sports. Gaughan earned All-Conference honors in NCAA Division IAA football.
He also earned a spot on the Hoyas basketball team, playing for legendary coach and mentor John Thompson. The team Gaughan played on recorded two Big East regular season championships and competed in two Sweet 16s and one Elite Eight in post-season NCAA tournament play.
The one-mile concrete oval is one of Gaughan’s favorite tracks on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, despite the fact that he has only one top 10 in four tries. Gaughan’s best run at ‘The Monster Mile’ was a seventh-place finish during his 2002 rookie season.
Gaughan hopes his South Point Racing team can improve on that this year
“Dover is the most amazing race track,” Gaughan said. “It’s the only race track where my spotter has had to remind me to breathe.
“It’s the only place you feel a sensation of speed. It’s Bristol on steroids. It’s a great race track. It’s fast. It’s aggressive. It is a monster. It’s fun as hell to race. I know that I blew a chance to win in Dover at 2003, and I’d like to get that back this time.”
With the additional support from Chevrolet this year and the extra research and development that crew chief Bryan Berry has put into each race, Gaughan feels confident that his South Point Racing team will make him a contender for the Dover win.
“We have to have good front travel, and we have to get the geometry of the truck right because Dover is a place where you can’t be tight,” he said. “Dover’s a wide track. You can go top to bottom. If you’re tight, you’re scrubbing speed and slowing down. It’s a concrete track which makes it so fast that the problems are compounded. So, you really have to work hard to get your front end to travel right. This year, Mike Roos (our shock specialist) and Bryan Berry (crew chief) have been doing a lot of good things on our shocks and suspension and rear grip. I think we have the best shock program we have ever had, so I foresee them doing a really good job getting us rear grip and making us a force at the track.”
With the Georgetown logos prominently featured on his race truck, Gaughan also hopes that some of the positive energy from the recent run of the Hoyas basketball team will flow his way. And good luck sure can’t hurt.
“Hopefully, we’ll go to Dover and make a run for Georgetown and the No. 77 fans out there just like my Hoyas basketball team did during March Madness,” Gaughan said. “We do this for all the athletic programs, so I’ll invite the entire athletic staff. If they want to come, I would love to have them. But of course, I’ll be asking the football and basketball teams if they want to send anybody out there – the current program and my program. Coach (John) Thompson III– he’s done such a good job this year, I’d love to have him and the whole team hang out with me.
“They got to the Final Four man, I could use some of their mojo.”
And when the checkered flag waves, Gaughan just wants to make his race team and his former college team proud. Celebrating in victory lane would be the perfect way to do just that.