Gaughan Looking For A Little Luck, Solid Finish at Indianapolis Short Track
As Brendan Gaughan and the South Point Racing team heads to O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis for this Friday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race, Gaughan hopes that the halfway point of the season will bring about a turning point for a team that has been plagued with bad luck.
“The whole race team has made gains this year. If you go back to every race we’ve had, I can only name two races that I thought we have had that were bad races – California where we came unprepared and it bit us and Kansas where we tried to run a coil bind setup. We gave something a shot and it didn’t work out but we managed to squeak out a good finish,” Gaughan said.
“We have a very solid race team. We’ve just got to find something to break this streak of bad luck. That’s all we’re getting killed with now. As soon as we get that King Kong off our back, it better be a flood of good luck when it does change.”
Gaughan says there is no better place to change his luck than Indianapolis , where he has a best finish of fourth in 2003 and an eighth-place finish in 2005. Although a self-proclaimed “hater” of short tracks, O’Reilly Raceway Park has qualities that Gaughan loves. And with the South Point Racing team’s ever improving short track program, Gaughan is looking forward to a top finish by his No. 77 Chevrolet Silverado.
At Indianapolis , Gaughan will be piloting the same truck that has raced at Martinsville , Mansfield and Memphis earlier this season. It’s a truck that has been good for the South Point team, one that Gaughan has called “the best short track piece he has ever driven – in any Series.”
The team scored a ninth-place finish at Mansfield and was solidly in the top five at Memphis before having problems on a pit stop. And Gaughan admits that driver error prevented a good finish at Martinsville .
The NCTS race at Indianapolis is Gaughan’s chance to show just how good the South Point Racing’s team short track program is.
“I’ve always said I hate short tracks. It doesn’t mean that I’m not good at them,” Gaughan said. “But ORP has always been one of my better short tracks. I always joke and say it’s because it is a high groove short track. It’s a short track that you don’t run on the bottom, you run on the top. We all know that I like to run on top, so I think that’s why I do well at it. It’s a fun little place.
“Bryan Berry (crew chief) has worked really hard on our short track program, and we have shown glimpses of how good it is. I want to prove it from qualifying to the checkered flag at Indianapolis . We’ll see if we can’t put our South Point Chevy somewhere near the front and not have a tire blow out or the flux capacitor break or something stupid like that that seems to keep biting us.”
More than anything, Gaughan hopes that a solid race at Indianapolis will help change the luck for his Las Vegas-based team for the second-half of the NCTS season.
“I’ve always said that you create your own luck, and if you look at some of the stuff that we have gotten lucky with on this team, we have a great team again,” Gaughan said. “We’ve kind of had to mash together our race team here and there with some recent changes on the team. But when you have three races where you have flats and two races where you have wheels come loose where the wheels were torqued – that’s just good old fashioned bad luck.
“There is still a lot to race for this season. I definitely believe that this team can get to the top 10 in points,” Gaughan added. “With the help from Chevrolet and all that they have been giving us, I know we have the tools. We just have to have the luck and make it happen.”