Gaughan Hopes To Salute Dad With Solid Run In South Point Chevrolet At Michigan
Perched on top of the South Point Racing pit box this Saturday at Michigan International Speedway will be Brendan Gaughan’s biggest fan – his dad, Michael Gaughan.
After a little pre-race radio banter between father and son, Brendan will turn his focus to one thing – scoring a solid finish for his dad and team owner on Father’s Day weekend.
“This whole race team is about family,” Brendan said. “We have husbands and wives that work here. We have fathers and sons that work here. We have all sorts of family relationships at this team and the most important one is the fact that my dad owns the team and I drive for him.
“There’s going to be 36 people saying they want to give their father a win for Father’s Day – and I want that, too – probably more than any of them,” continued Brendan, who has one victory in four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) starts at Michigan.
“But with the South Point Racing team’s luck right now, I just want to give my dad a Chevrolet in one piece at the end of the day and a good finish for Father’s Day. I think that would be a good present for all of us.”
For Brendan, the goal this weekend is to make his dad proud of him and his South Point Racing Team.
Michael Gaughan has always had a passion for auto racing. He entered his first desert race – the Mint 400 – in 1966. Michael Gaughan raced as often as his schedule would allow and won the 1978 and 1979 High Desert Racing Association championship.
In his later racing years, Michael Gaughan’s son Brendan was right there with him in the desert.
“I grew up watching dad race,” Brendan said. “There are pictures of me as a two-year-old, even younger than that, in dad’s arms. He has on his race suit and his glass goggles, and we’re standing next to the race car. That was something our family did. I have great memories of going to the desert to watch my daddy when I was little.”
Michael Gaughan retired his racing helmet in 1991. That’s when Brendan climbed behind the wheel of a race car for the first time. That first off-road race was Brendan’s first win.
Since Brendan’s first desert win, Michael Gaughan went on to build South Point Racing, which opened its doors in 2000. The team has scored three Winston West championships (two with Brendan and one with Scott Lynch), as well as nine wins (eight with Brendan and one with Steve Park) in NCTS competition.
“My dad’s a racer,” Brendan said. “He built the race team because he raced his whole life. It was something he wanted to do and something he has always enjoyed. And in the end it benefited me.
“I’m not going to say that I’m not a spoiled brat – my daddy spoils me rotten. And I love it.
“But this race team has turned out to be a fairly good business move for him. It works for our casino. Everybody knows that when you come to Las Vegas that the South Point Hotel and Casino is synonymous with the NASCAR teams and officials. It works on both levels for us. It is something that he loves to do and it’s good for business.
“And in some ways, he gets to almost relive his racing career through me. Hopefully we’ll take his South Point Chevrolet to Michigan and do something right this weekend.”