Gaughan Revved Up for Daytona Event
With a new team name and the support of new manufacturer Chevrolet, Brendan Gaughan and the No. 77 South
Point Racing team are geared up for a strong run during the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) season kicking off with the
season-opening Silverado HD 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
“The way we ended the
season with crew chief Bryan Berry and how well our team started to come together is a big factor in making me – us – believe that we
can win races and make a run for the title,” said Gaughan, who embarks on his fifth full-season of NCTS competition in 2007. “The guys
felt that the work they were doing was paying off and it carried over into this off-season and now into the new season.
“Our switch to Chevrolet has been big, too. The amount of engineering and the intangibles of the
support that we’re getting from Chevrolet is incredible. We feel that it is going to be a major help to us. Chevrolet is giving us more
engineering help than we have ever had, and we can already see the gains from it.”
the additional manufacturer support from Chevrolet and a confident Gaughan behind the wheel, the South Point Racing team will tackle the
2.5-mile Daytona track. But the team will have its work cut out for them.
preseason test didn’t go as well as Gaughan and his crew had hoped. So, the team returns to Daytona with a completely different race
truck than what they tested in January.
“Tom (Buzze, general manager) and
I sat down and said we have a big goal – we both want to win Daytona,” Gaughan said. “And that is a major goal of this race team. After
our test, it looked pretty bleak. But we took that truck directly to A.J. Henry’s (in Concord), told AJ what we felt at the test and
what we had discussed with the Chevrolet engineers, and we cut the bodies off.
sure that we’re not going back there with the same thing that tested poorly. We gave it every effort we could.”
The team will also go to Daytona without their regular Kroyer Racing Engines under the hood. As was
announced earlier, the No. 77 team will run engines by Mark Smith of Pro Motor Engines for the first two races of the season.
“With the transition to Chevrolet, it takes a little more time to build engines than to build race
trucks,” Gaughan said. “So this buys us a month for Kevin to continue his research and development of our engine program. It’s a smart
move. Kevin believes this team could win one of those races and he didn’t want to be a detriment to us, so we went to a very proven,
very capable commodity – Pro Motors, Mark Smith.
“I feel very comfortable going with a Mark Smith engine. He’s won races every year. His team beat me for the championship in
2003. I’m happy we have the opportunity to go to Daytona and California with engines that we feel are capable of winning. And when we go
to Atlanta, we are going to have a Kroyer Racing Engine in, and we will feel that it will be the powerplant we need to win in part
because of Mark (Smith) and his help right now.”
More than doing well at Daytona, Gaughan
wants to prove that his West coast team is a force to be reckoned with week in and week out in the NCTS.
“We proved it once, and we’re going to prove it again,” Gaughan said. “2007 is definitely the year to prove it again.
The quality of people we have been able to hire in the race shop, the caliber of people that are going over the wall for us now and the
caliber of people running my race team are as good as any place in the country. I say that this is the year we are going to remind
everybody the West coast is alive and we’re coming to kick your butts again.”
BRENDAN GAUGHAN'S DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY NCTS STATS
STARTS POLES WINS TOP FIVES TOP
No. 77 South Point Racing Team
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