Brendan Gaughan Pre Race Report - Michigan

by Mike Snow - Orleans Racing

Driver: Brendan Gaughan

Owner: Michael Gaughan

Event: Paramount Health Insurance 200
Michigan International Speedway - Brooklyn, Mich.
Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 3:15 p.m. (EDT)
Qualifying: Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 10:00 a.m. (EDT)
2.0-mile oval, 200 miles/100 laps

The Trucks --- T1 – Lonestar --- T13 backup

Notes of Interest:

After a quick cleanup following last week’s event, and replacement of the alternator, Lonestar will be pressed back into action for this weekend’s Paramount Health Insurance 200.

Brendan Gaughan has one win at MIS, which came in 2003 in the Craftsman Truck Series.

Crew Chief Tony “Rambo” Liberati relocated to Las Vegas, NV following last week’s event at Texas Motor Speedway.

Craig Nemes, who is the regular jackman for the #77 Jasper Engine Dodge, is back at work – at least in a part time capacity. Nemes was seriously injured several weeks ago when a car collided with his motorcycle. Nemes nearly lost a leg in the incident, but artful work by local Las Vegas surgeons helped the Bothell, Washington native keep his lower limb. There are more surgeries planned, to replace ligaments in the badly damaged leg, but the crew is appreciative to have the smiling Nemes back in the shop.

Meet The Press --- Sort of. Brendan Gaughan will be the co-host of this week’s edition of “Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain”. Gaughan will be live with Despain this Sunday night, June 19th – Fathers Day, from 9 to 11 pm eastern (6 to 8 pm Pacific). “Wind Tunnel” is broadcast on Speed TV --- check your local listings.

Gaughan on Michigan International Speedway

“Even in the Nextel Cup cars I had good runs going at Michigan last year in some of that old Kodak stuff. We were giving our crew chief Rambo Liberati a bad time because he’s only been here a couple of weeks and all of a sudden he gets this string of races where I won Texas four times in a row, the last time I was at Michigan I had a 20 second lead and the last time I was at Milwaukee I won. So he’s not sleeping very well at night because something’s not right here.

“We’ve been working really, really hard on our aero program and I’m not saying we’ve got it fixed yet but I’m saying that we’re making headway. Right after the Michigan race we’re going to go to the wind tunnel and take four trucks to the wind tunnel and try to get some more information. The Orleans Racing team is working their humps off right now trying to get better. I was talking to Kevin Kroyer of Kroyer Racing Engines and we think we have really good engines going to the track. I know the guys in the chassis shop feel very confident. Danny and Lance, our two truck chiefs, really feel like we’ve got the good rub on the setup. We just need to make sure our bodies are right in general and Joe and all the guys in the fab shop and the body shop are working real hard. We’re not sure if they’re right yet but the Jasper Dodge looked good there in a Cup car last year and looked good there in the past in the truck. Steve looked good at Texas with his truck and had a chance to win it but was short on gas. We’ll think we’ll be all right there.

“I like Michigan a lot. It has what I’ve always called the Michigan Merge where you drive in behind somebody and then you peel off two hundred feet apart with one guy in the top groove and one guy on the bottom and then you come right back together on the race track from being so far apart that the spotter says, ‘Well, he’s down there but I don’t know if you’re clear or not’ because you can’t tell.

“I remember in 2003 when I won, I followed Robert Pressley there. Robert’s always had good runs there and Robert was on the bottom and, go figure, I was on the top and I told my spotter, Billy Holbrook, that I wouldn’t stick my nose outside Robert’s fender. We were starting somewhere mid-pack and I said, ‘Hey, let’s just hook up.’ I promised him I wouldn’t block him to the wall and that I would always give him the whole merge lane up to the wall so he didn’t have to worry about it and let’s go. Robert and I went right to the front of the field in 25 or 30 laps. We never had to worry about each other. We were both fast and it taught me a lot there. We had a great pit stop that day, beat him out of the pits and never saw him again. We were out front and passing everybody and it was awesome.

“It’s such a fun racetrack even for the fans. That Michigan Merge is just really cool. You drive in and one guy goes to the top and one guy goes to the bottom. Anybody that’s watched a Michigan race knows how neat it is when you see the bottom guy coming up like, ‘Am I clear?’ and the top guy looking down and saying, ‘Don’t hit me into that wall.’ It’s a neat race track.”

Meet the Crew:

Shop Duties
Race Day Duties

Brendan Gaughan
Las Vegas, NV
General Manager

Tony Liberati
Bellaire, OH
Crew Chief
Crew Chief

Lance Wilson
Bakersfield, CA
Truck Chief
Front Tire Changer

Roy Pryor
Las Vegas, NV
Rear Tire Changer

Chris Boller
Prescott, AZ
Truck Driver
Front Tire Carrier

Calvin Gravely
Martinsville, VA
Tire Specialist

Scott Witz
Tucson, AZ
Gas Man

Mike Robinson
Toole, UT
Catch Can

Ray Poyner

Listen in on the #77: The team’s primary radio frequency is 451.3371

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