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Brendan Gaughan, the other Las Vegas native competing regularly in the Nextel Cup Series, earned a career-best sixth-place finish in the spring race at California Speedway, but missed the post-race rookie press conference because he was treated for heat exhaustion and blisters on his "tailbone area."

Gaughan vowed after the race to have his Penske-Jasper crew install heat shields in his No. 77 Dodge -- something he had shunned in the past.

"I used to think I was too tough for certain items in the cars, like heat shields," Gaughan said this week. "Our race (at California Speedway) was so hot, I was sweating profusely before I even got in the car. Then trying to race 250 laps, while boiling in my seat, wasn't any fun.

"All I know is I am a fan of heat shields under the seat, under my feet -- wherever they can put them, I want a heat shield."

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