Brendan Gaughan While not a Fan of Short-Track Racing is Headed to Richmond International Raceway: Gaughan admittedly is not a fan of short-track racing, but he looks forward to returning to Richmond, for one reason or another.
“Richmond will be exciting this time around with everything going on. From the third IROC event on, there is a full four-day race schedule. The most important thing to the entire Penske camp is getting Ryan through the race Saturday night with a solid landing in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.”
“Buddy [Baker] loves it when I say I hate short-track racing. He thinks I run better after declaring my non-love. In May, I had a little bit of help, which put me in the wall. The funny thing was, it was Terry Labonte. He told his spotter to apologize and when I got the message, all I could say was, ‘It’s Terry Labonte, how can anyone get mad at him?’ As it turned out, we used the wreck as a chance to test, so to speak. We tried a different shock package after we hit the wall, and towards the end, Buddy had me running a pretty good line that I felt comfortable with. I just hope I can find it this time around.”
Gaughan is Still Fuming Over Last Week’s Early Exit, but Considers it Par for the Course These Days: After pitting too soon, along with Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle to name a couple, Gaughan blames himself for the early exit last week.
“Once again, we bit ourselves in the [bottom] and I ended up in the wrong place on the track. Shane [Wilson] told me to pit if the guys in front of me came in. Well, they came in, and so did I. Unfortunately, the red flag was out at the end of pit road. Had my spotter or I paid attention to the flagman instead of the competition, I would have known not to come. Apparently, the official in Matt’s pit told the No. 17 team that the pits were open, but he was mistaken, and it just turned in to follow the leader. I guess if he had jumped off a bridge, I would have been right behind him. It’s not often Matt and Robbie [Reiser] have a mistake like that, help or no help.”
Gaughan Reflects on his Rookie Season in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, So Far: It’s no secret, when Gaughan rushed into his rookie season in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series his expectations were high. How does he feel now that he is more than halfway through the 2004 season?
“Am I happy with my results so far? Hell no! I knew the Penske-Jasper Racing team had their work cut out for us, but man… Here recently, our runs have been one thing, our finishes another. I can only hope, for the entire No. 77 team, people are taking notice of the big picture. For those who are armchair crew chiefs and only look at the ending result, take a step back. Within the next two years, this team will be a championship team. Every member of the team has what it takes. If it were based on determination alone, they would already be there.”
Sweat Test?: On Wednesday, Sept. 8, Gaughan is heading to Gatorade Headquarters in Chicago, Ill. for a Sweat Test. During his visit, Gaughan will receive a tour of the facility and then will participate in a Hydration 101 course followed by his sweat test. From the test, Gaughan will learn whether he properly hydrates himself prior to competition.
Equipment: Gaughan will race chassis PJR-35 at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 11.
from Penske Racing