Brendan Gaughan Post-Race Report - Homestead
Thereís nothing better than ending the season on a high note and thatís exactly what Brendan Gaughan and the South Point Racing team did with a second place finish at Homestead Miami Speedway.
The season finale capped off a long day at the racetrack that started bright and early with the first practice session at 8:30 am. Lonestar was somewhat cranky after the long ride cross-country, and after running 28th fastest on the first time sheet, the crew went to work. Their tender loving care paid off as Lonestar leapt up the chart to 12th overall in the final practice session.
Gaughanís eighth place qualifying effort was his best since mid-September at New Hampshire International Speedway and his expectations were high as he strapped into the driverís seat for the final time in 2006. He wasted no time at all finding his rhythm in the high lane and by Lap 10 the No. 77 Dodge was running in the top five.
The team suffered a temporary setback when a miscue on the left, front during a pit stop under caution put Gaughan back to 11th. But they made up the difference with a two-tire pit stop late in the race that put Gaughan 2nd in the running order on the final restart with less than 35 laps to go.
Gaughan took the lead when the green flag flew and then battled side-by-side with Mark Martin for ten consecutive laps before he was finally forced to surrender the position.
As much as he would have liked the victory, Gaughan was proud of the fact that it took the likes of Roush Racing and a Nextel Cup Champion contender to beat his boys from Las Vegas.
ďIt was a great race,Ē said Gaughan. ďOne of the boys made a mistake during a pit stop but he knows it and heís standing right here feeling bad. I love Robert Ewing. Heís the man and he came back strong on the last stop.
ďOur Dodge was the best itís been all year. We worked our tails off. You definitely know your team is ready to back on top when you can battle Roush Racing and Mark Martin for the victory. Iím so proud of my boys. Tony Liberati worked his tail off to get us here and Bryan Berry is with us now. He did a great job making decisions. Itís just fantastic and Iíve got to say thanks to everybody.Ē
The runner-up finish was the best for Gaughan since he rejoined the Craftsman Truck Series in 2005 and allowed him to finish out the season ranked 15th in the driver point standings.