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Brendan Gaughan Pre-Race Report - Indy

Driver: Brendan Gaughan
Owner: Michael Gaughan
Indianapolis 200
O’Reilly Raceway Park
Race: Friday, August 4 – 8:45 pm
Qualifying: Friday, August 4 – 5:30 pm
0.686-mile oval, 137.2 miles/ 200 laps
Notes of Interest:

The No. 77 Dodge will be sporting sponsorship from Huttig Building Products for this weekend’s event at O’Reilly Raceway Park. Huttig is a nationwide building products supplier that has 46 branches throughout the country.

The 200-lap event marks the first time the Craftsman Trucks will run unleaded fuel as the series works toward fulltime use for the 2007 season. Orleans Racing tested unleaded fuel last week in the real world when Kevin Hamlin ran a “mule” truck at the Chicagoland Speedway for over 250 incident free miles.

Military Appreciation Program (MAP):

The mission of the 58th Rescue Squadron is to train, equip, and employ combat-ready pararescue, combat rescue officers, and supporting personnel worldwide in support of US National Security interests.  The 58 RQS provides survivor contact, treatment, and extraction during combat rescue operations using various fixed/rotary wing insertion/extraction assets, and employ, by any means available, to provide combat and humanitarian search, rescue, and medical assistance in all environments.

The Piece: Gaughan will drive Orleans Racing’s T-12
The Stats:

O’Reilly Raceway Park










































GAUGHAN ON O’REILLY RACEWAY PARK: “This week we have the debut of a one-race sponsorship with Huttig Building Products. We’re really excited to have them on the truck this weekend. We had a couple people show up to the Michigan race and we had a good run going there so the Huttig group has really been excited. This week it’s their truck. They’ve got the primary spot. They’ve got the hood, the quarterpanels – the whole deal. We’re expecting about a hundred people or so from Huttig and we really want to go there and impress.

“Indianapolis is the home of Jasper, one of our big sponsors. So anytime we come to ORP we expect to see a lot of Jasper associates and expect to run well for them.

“I’ve always done well at Indy. I still keep the mantra that I hate short tracks therefore I hate O’Reilly Raceway Park but for some reason we’ve always had really good runs there. I want to say that it reminds me a lot of Irwindale Speedway in Southern California. Indianapolis is old and Irwindale is all brand new but you run the high groove. ORP is a high groove short track where you run up near the wall. If you want to pass somebody you’ve got to go to the bottom, not the outside. So it kind of reminds me a little bit of Irwindale and maybe that’s why I’ve always liked it so much.

“We’re taking truck No. 12, which was the backup truck for the last couple short track races. Personally I’m really happy that we’re taking No. 12 instead of No. 6. No. 6 has gotten tired and it’s gotten heavy. We kept fixing it and not really taking the weight back off of it. So No. 6 is getting a new body on it and we’ve got a brand new short track truck coming. We’re really excited about it.

“Bryan Berry is our new truck chief and he has worked a lot with the geometry stuff that Rambo and Tom Buzze want. So we think we’re going to go there with the right geometry in the front and we plan on going out there and just beat the doors off the thing.”

WE’RE USING THE NEW HARDER TIRE FROM MANSFIELD. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FROM THE DRIVER’S STANDPOINT? – “It means that the crew chief is going to have a really tough night. At Mansfield it was ridiculous. Somebody stopped at Lap 20 or something like that and made it the whole rest of the race on that set of tires. But that’s the tire that Goodyear is bringing and that’s the tire that we have to use. So we’re going to have to change our strategy. We’ll maybe stop a little earlier. ORP doesn’t necessarily have a lot of caution flag laps. It’s a really caution free short track for the most part. So you can’t cut it too close to that fuel window. You might have to play the game where you come in a few laps earlier than your fuel window, hope for the cautions and run it to the end. If the Goodyear tires last that long then track position is key.”

ABOUT UNLEADED FUEL. – “This is the first week for NASCAR’s unleaded fuel motor in the Craftsman Truck Series. It actually debuted at Gateway International Raceway in the Busch Series last week. From a team owner standpoint it’s a little upsetting because it’s costing a lot of money to change over from leaded to unleaded fuel. So that kind of bums us out. The good news is I’ve got Kroyer Racing engines. We tested at Chicagoland Speedway last week and had Kevin Hamlin come drive for us for two days. He just did laps. I mean we logged in some miles. The guys over at Kroyer Racing Engines just pulled the motor apart and even though we’ve heard about all the problems that other guys are having, knock on wood, we’re looking real good. That’s why Kevin Kroyer is in my opinion one of the best if not the best engine builder in the country. He takes good care of me and it looks like we’re not going to have too many problems with our switch over. We’ve been working on it for a long time. So far it looks like our R&D has paid off.”

DID KEVIN HAMLIN TELL YOU IF YOU’LL FEEL ANYTHING DIFFERENT IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT? – “He said the only thing I’ve got to look for is the temperature is going to be hotter. The water temperature might be a little hotter than we’re used to. So to compensate we’re going to have to take some tape off the grill to cool it down a little bit better. We haven’t seen a drop in horsepower. With that big of an octane drop we expected that but Kroyer Racing Engines got on top of it and we didn’t have a drop in power. So that’s a good thing.”

Kevin Kroyer, Head Engine Builder for Orleans Racing: “We’re happy that over two days of testing at Chicagoland that everything turned out OK. Kevin Hamlin did a good job with one of our test trucks and put a lot of miles on. We believe we got close to 250 miles on the unleaded package, which is as long as our longest race. We spent a lot of time looking at things. We were looking at carburetors, looking at lambda meters, looking at fuel distribution on spark plugs. We probably ran ten sets of spark plugs through that same motor over two days and 250 miles just trying to figure out what was going on in there. It was running when we shut it off after the test.”
IS IT DISCONCERTING THAT YOU CAN’T LOOK AT THE SPARK PLUGS TO SEE WHAT’S GOING ON? – “It’s mortifying. For the test we had electronic equipment on there that told us what our fuel was doing in each one of the cylinders. We’re not allowed to run that on the race application but we can run it on the test application. At the racetrack we have to be able to look at the spark plugs to get a read on how the motor is working. That is something that’s not able to happen with the unleaded fuel. We had plugs that we put 45 laps on and got a clean cut. Normally 45-lap old plugs look dirty. Because they’ve got 45 laps of running unleaded they show no deposits whatsoever. They’re all clean and they look like they’re new out of the box. Tune up is going to be absolutely critical at the racetrack and it’s going to be hard to go to the racetrack and try to do everything from what you know at the racetrack. You’re going to have to be more set up when you leave the shop and be able to adjust to weather conditions and track conditions from what you know existing off your dyno stuff not from what you’re looking at on the spark plugs any more.”

Meet the Crew:



Shop Duty

Race Day Duty

Tony Liberati

Bellaire, OH

Crew Chief

Crew Chief

Bryan Berry

Homestead, FL

Truck Chief

Truck Chief

Danny Goad

Martinsville, VA

Mechanic / Tuner

Rear Tire Changer

Clint Jennings

Logan, OH


Rear Tire Hanger

Jacen Johns

Springfield, MO


Front Tire Hanger

Calvin Gravely

Martinsville, VA

Tire Spec / Fabricator

Jack Man

Bill Caldwell

Culver City, CA


Fuel Man

Steve Fiedler

Yankton, SD

Truck Driver

Catch Can

Robert Ewing

Las Vegas, NV


Front Tire Changer

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


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