Brendan Gaughan will start the Subway 500 from the 14th position on Sunday, Oct. 24. All-in-all, it was a good day for Penske Racing South as all four of its entries qualified within the top 15.
After waiting out morning rain showers, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers received a shortened practice session along with a delayed qualifying time slot. Not allowing the earlier inclement weather to dampen his bright spirits, Gaughan climbed into his Penske-Jasper Racing Dodge and prepared to get a good handle on his machine. After his first run, Gaughan requested changes and his team reponded
The Kodak Racing team made changes during the practice session to help with the center of the turns. As practice ended, Gaughan said the car was handling better over the majority of the track, with the exception of looser handling conditions than what he had been experiencing in the center of the turns.
Gaughan was the 10th driver out of 50 to make his qualifying attempt. Gaughan’s first lap secured his starting position with a 19.796-second lap. Gaughan said on his second lap, he got back in the throttle too quickly while exiting the turns which created a loose handling condition causing him to back out of his second lap.
Gaughan was pleased with his starting position and hopes to use what he learned from the spring race to move to the front of the pack.
“The Kodak Racing team worked hard on the car during practice and made some changes that really helped me to wheel the car,” Gaughan said. “We have two more practice sessions tomorrow to get through, but I know I can count on the guys, as well as some gained knowledge from the April race to help me get in the groove and stay there. We are looking forward to a good finish, even though I hate short tracks.”
Penske-Jasper-powered engines were out in force today. Ryan Newman will start from the pole position, while Rusty Wallace will roll off second, making it a Team Penske front row. Travis Kvapil, who is running a fourth Penske-Jasper-powered Dodge this weekend, will start from the fifth position.