Brendan Gaughan Pre-Race Report - Talladega
Driver: Brendan Gaughan
Owner: Michael Gaughan
John Deere 250
Saturday, October 7 – 2:15 pm
Qualifying: Friday, October 6 – 11:15 am
2.66-mile oval, 250 miles/ 94 laps
Notes of Interest:While this is the first ever visit to Talladega Superspeedway
for the Craftsman Trucks it’s not the first time that driver, Brendan Gaughan has run the vast 2.66-mile race
track. In fact Talladega is the venue where Gaughan posted his best ever Cup effort, a 4th place finish in 2004.
Program (MAP): This week Orleans Racing will carry the colors of the 57th Maintenance Operations
Squadron to Talladega. This unit has roots going back several decades, to 1943, and is based at Nellis Air Force
base (Las Vegas, NV).
The 57th MOS supports the maintenance effort for more than 148 assigned A-10A,
F-15C/D, F-15E, F-16C/D, F-22A, RQ-1 and MQ-1 aircraft by managing weapons standardization, quality assurance and
maintenance training for more than 2,200 technicians. It manages fleet health and group-level programs and
resources to include financial, manpower, vehicles, computers, wing environmental and facilities for the Nellis
The Piece: Gaughan will drive Orleans Racing’s T16
Talladega Superspeedway -
* Career Best Cup Series Finish
GAUGHAN ON TALLADEGA
SUPERSPEEDWAY: “The repaving part is going to be neat. Talladega used to have big, long, bumpy, bumpy
straightaways. They’re saying now that it’s smooth as glass. So I’m really excited to see that. Fortunately or
unfortunately that doesn’t affect your handling at Talladega at all. It’s just big, fast and mean.
have two really good trucks going there. T-19 is a brand new truck that we just took to the wind tunnel and T-16
is the truck that ran so well at Daytona but got dinged up right at the end. One’s brand new and the other is
rebuilt. We’re actually going to use T-16 because after looking at the wind tunnel numbers we think it’s going to
be the better race truck. So even with all that intelligence that went into the brand new body, we’re going with
the old body.
“We’re excited about the race. It’s the first time for the Craftsman Truck Series at
Talladega. I know it isn’t going to be the last because I know the fans are going to see a phenomenal race.
“When I raced at Talladega in the Nextel Cup Series I got my career best finish and I had Buddy Baker as my
coach. Buddy was the coaching master at Daytona and Talladega. In the truck the air is just so much more packed
and so different. At Daytona there are times when you’ll be pointing in a straight line and a truck will come up
underneath you and move you an entire truck length up the race track and you haven’t moved the steering wheel. We
just push that much more air. It ends up being a little bit more of an out of control situation than even the
Nextel Cup cars. That’s also what makes it so fun.
“We’ll stay in a big pack and it’s old school racing at
Daytona and Talladega with the slingshot move. We can’t bump draft because the way our bumpers are but we do a
whole lot more slingshotting. It’s going to be exciting.
“They call it a ‘White Knuckle Weekend’ and it’s
very aptly named. Not in a bad sense though. It’s just another style of racing. Some people don’t like that style
and some people do. I don’t really say, ‘Woo-hoo! Love that racing’ but I’m good at it and I say, ‘Hey, let’s go
racing.’ It’s just different.
“You definitely are holding on. You hold your breath a few times. You know
when you’re four-wide. If you’re the third guy in line you look below you and you know there are two guys inside
and one guy outside. You take a deep breath and think, ‘Oooh, I don’t want to be here.’ But the Craftsman Truck
Series has some great drivers and we’ll get through it.
“Some people say there’s a secret to driving the
superspeedways. I don’t know. I know that when I raced in the Nextel Cup Series for some strange reason my Kodak
Dodge liked the middle. It was really fast right through the middle and that sucked to be in the middle three-
wide all day. But it was fast. That’s how I got back to the front and how I stayed up front. So I don’t know if
there’s a secret or if anybody knows any more or less. Everybody likes to say they can see air or they can do
this or that. I don’t know. All I know is you drive your tail off and you do it differently than at any other
place. At the end of the day you take that grip off the steering wheel and you’ve got a little shake in your
hands and you say, ‘We made it!’”
Meet the Crew:
Race Day Duty
Mechanic / Tuner
Rear Tire Changer
Rear Tire Hanger
Front Tire Hanger
Tire Spec /
Culver City, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Front Tire Changer
Listen in on the #77: The team’s primary radio frequency is 451.3371.