MAY 2, 2004
Brendan Gaughan Hopes to Carry the Momentum Forward:
“The 13th-place finish at Talladega is just a teaser of the great finishes to come,” Gaughan said. “We have been working very hard. The guys have been working hard in the shop to give me competitive equipment and when we get to the track, the road crew has worked diligently at fine-tuning the car. We are almost there, I can feel it.”
Gaughan’s NASCAR West Series Success at California a Product of His Team’s Efforts: Gaughan attributes his NASCAR West Series success at California Speedway to his team’s efforts.
“The team built the car, the team tuned on the car and Shane [Wilson] led them with the information I provided,” Gaughan said. “It was a team effort, we won it together.”
Gaughan’s Most Memorable Run at California: On April 29, 2000, Gaughan finished third in the Pontiac Wide Track Grand Prix 200 at California Speedway. While third place is still the second loser, Gaughan was pleased with his team’s performance. He finished behind two Cup Series veterans, Johnny Benson who won the event and Ken Schrader. As the only Winston West Series regular able to run competitively with the Cup drivers that day, Gaughan learned from his opposition and won the event the following year from the eighth starting position.
Kodak Racing Team Coming Together: After what felt like a slow start, the Kodak Racing team members feel as though things are falling into place.
Kevin Kidd, Car Chief – “We started the year slowly, but everything is starting to come together,” Kidd said. “Changing manufacturers at the end of the season really only gave us a couple of weeks to get rolling on the new bodies. Testing was the farthest thing from our minds and the next thing we knew, we were in Daytona.”
Rodney Childers, Assistant Car Chief – “With all of the changes we went through at the beginning of the year, the one thing we had going for us was keeping virtually the entire team together,” Childers said. “When the old Jasper Motorsports merged with Penske Racing there were only two changes on our road crew and three to the shop crew. That was huge.”
Shane Wilson, Crew Chief – “Making the move from trucks to the [NASCAR NEXTEL] Cup Series could have been a lot more difficult than it has been,” Wilson said. “Luckily, when I came to the No. 77 Kodak Racing team they were all still intact, all I had to do was find my place in their foundation. With [Bill] Wilburn’s help, the transition has been relatively smooth.”
Team Philosophy for 2004: Prior to the season opening Daytona 500, Penske-Jasper Racing co-owners, Roger Penske and Doug Bawel, offered encouraging words to live by in the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season.
“Effort equals results,” Penske said. “We have the human capitol to make this venture a successful one.”
“We are on a journey,” Bawel said. “Each week is another chapter in the journey. Success will not come overnight, but when it does arrive, it will be a lasting success.”
Equipment: The No. 77 Kodak Racing team is taking chassis No. 31 to California Speedway. No. 31 is the same car Gaughan raced at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year (Start 16th/ Finish 38th-Engine).