Watkins Glen, NY (August 15, 2004) Brendan Gaughan showed his road racing skills during the Sirius at the Glen on Sunday, August 15. Despite Gaughan’s show of talent at Watkins Glen International, the Kodak Mammography Films Dodge was posted in the 33rd position when the checkered flag fell.
After NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series activities were canceled on Friday due to inclement weather, NASCAR officials set the field by owner’s points, placing Gaughan 30th on the starting grid. During the two 45 minute practice sessions Saturday morning, the Kodak/Jasper Racing team had their work cut out for them to find a set-up agreeable to Gaughan’s driving style.
With his maternal grandmother and breast cancer survivor on hand, 88 year old Margot Crow, for pre-race activities, Gaughan’s mind was set on a great race to elevate breast cancer awareness. In front of a Kodak hometown crowd, Gaughan gave them a performance they could be proud of.
From the start of the race, Gaughan patiently set-up the other drivers, and passed them one-by-one. On lap six, he informed Shane Wilson that the car’s handling was a little tight around the course and when the caution flag was displayed on lap 15, Wilson took advantage of the time to make adjustments.
Gaughan came down pit road on lap 19 and received four fresh tires with fuel along with a chassis adjustment. A piece of tape was also removed from the grill to prevent the car from overheating. Gaughan returned to the track in the 25th position for the restart on lap 20.
On lap 30, Gaughan was posted in the 10th position and felt his car was good enough to continue the onslaught. With great fuel mileage and a good car, Wilson told Gaughan to remain on the track when the next full field caution flag was displayed on lap 31.
The next service for the No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Dodge came on lap 51, under caution. Again, Gaughan’s machine received four tires and fuel along with a chassis adjustment. He took the green flag from the a 16th position and once again climbed through the field.
On lap 59 Gaughan had moved into the third position and on lap 61 he took over the lead. Gaughan relinquished the lead to Casey Mears on lap 68. During his time in the lead, Gaughan received reminders from Wilson to conserve fuel.
On lap 72, the caution flag was waved when Gaughan went into the sand off turn one. Gaughan said he got off the track and when he hit the brakes, the pedal went to the floor, ultimately locking the brake system up.
When the safety crew arrived to pull Gaughan’s car out, he told them he would provide a steak dinner if they could get him out in front of the leader. Despite the safety team’s expedient efforts, Gaughan returned to the track one lap down for the restart.
When the green flag was displayed, Gaughan was determined to regain his lap from the leader. Heading into turn one, Gaughan wheel hopped the Kodak/Jasper Dodge and instead of waiting for the tires to grab, he shifted again - a self professed error - and broke a transmission gear ending the day early for the Kodak/Jasper team.
The team will return to action next week at Michigan Speedway.