AUGUST 7, 2004
Speedway, Ind (Aug. 7, 2004) - Brendan Gaughan qualified 30th for his Brickyard 400 debut in front of a Jasper Engines and Transmissions hometown crowd.
Gaughan was the 32nd driver of 50 to make his qualifying attempt and with limited seat time at the 2.5-mile track, Gaughan was not sure what to expect with his late draw.
Gaughan said his machine was tighter through turn one than during the practice session on Friday, while the car turned better through [turns] three and four.
“I was hoping for a better qualifying effort in front of the folks from Jasper [Engines and Transmissions],” Gaughan said. “The handling changed a little from yesterday to today, and I think the temperature has a lot to do with it. By the time I qualified, it was already hotter than it was yesterday when we started practice. Hopefully, the changes the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Racing team made for race trim will put us where we want to be, on the competitive edge.”
Gaughan is looking forward to running at the Brickyard because of the track’s historical value, and is happy for his former teammate, Casey Mears, who won the pole for the prestigious event with a record lap. Gaughan and Mears were teammates in 1992 while driving for Walker Evans.
“The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series starts the year out in Daytona Beach with the Daytona 500, but when it comes to historical matters I think racing at Indy is tops,” Gaughan said. “To see Casey on the pole, that is almost poetic justice. The Mears’ name is synonymous with Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I am really happy for him and the improvements that team has made from last year to 2004.”