Charlotte: Brendan Gaughan preview

Gaughan Looks to Play Spoiler in Charlotte Truck Race For Hometown Teams Las Vegas, NV (May 14, 2007) -- Brendan Gaughan takes great pride in the fact that his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) team isn't based in the middle of racing's hub.

Gaughan Looks to Play Spoiler in Charlotte Truck Race For Hometown Teams

Las Vegas, NV (May 14, 2007) -- Brendan Gaughan takes great pride in the fact that his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) team isn't based in the middle of racing's hub. Instead Gaughan's team calls Las Vegas home.

But coming to race in his competitors' backyard doesn't faze the five-year NCTS veteran. In fact, it's giving the 31-year-old even more reason to strive for his first victory of the year.

"I would love to ruin their day -- just like they want to ruin mine when they are in Las Vegas," Gaughan said of the Charlotte-based NCTS teams. "We ended up almost winning this race two years ago. Ted Musgrave and I were going door-to-door, right down to the wire, so I still want that trophy."

To Gaughan, coming to Charlotte to race is just like going to Syracuse or other Big East schools when he was a backup guard for the Georgetown Hoyas. You may be the underdog because you're on their home turf -- but that just makes you want it even more badly, Gaughan says.

"I would absolutely love to steal their thunder at Charlotte this Friday night and take the trophy back with me to Las Vegas," he said.

And after two days of testing in Charlotte and a date at the wind tunnel on Monday morning, Gaughan is very confident that his South Point Racing Chevrolet will be a stout competitor on the mile-and-a-half track.

"Testing for the South Point Racing team has always been a crucial thing," Gaughan said. "Maybe it's me the driver that needs it. Whatever it is, it really does pay off. We had a great test with two equally good Chevrolets although we were practicing with two different setups -- one being a coil bind setup and the other being a conventional setup. After the test, I think everyone had a tough time deciding which truck to make our primary.

"That has been the greatest thing about the partnership that the South Point team has made with Chevrolet and how far this team has come. All our trucks are just as good as the other."

After reviewing the two-day test and wind tunnel notes, it was decided that Gaughan would pilot South Point Racing's chassis No. 10 with a conventional setup under the hood.

"I think it is a smart play on our part to go with what we know and what we are most comfortable with, and that's the conventional setup," Gaughan said. "No matter what the truck does, Bryan Berry (crew chief) knows what calls to make and how to make the adjustments to give me a competitive truck.

"The thing is that I would like to have more seat time using the coil bind setup, but with NASCAR's testing policy, it's hard to do that. I really do think that testing is key. And right now, we just need more time to practice that setup.

"To me, both trucks were fast and both had their good points. I'm a big track kind of guy, so I'm just looking forward to getting back behind the wheel at Charlotte on Friday night and hopefully getting that trophy I lost here a few years ago."

Gaughan has some additional incentive to have a solid run at Charlotte, too -- his longtime fuel man Bill "Wingnut" Caldwell, 64, will not be with the team this weekend. Caldwell just underwent a double knee replacement surgery.

"He's the oldest fuel guy in NASCAR that I know and after double knee replacement surgery, he thinks that he'll be back by Texas," Gaughan said. "And to tell you the truth, he's about the only man I know who could do it that quickly.

"We'll miss old Wingnut this week, so it would be kind of cool if we could do something for him by bringing a win home."

Catch Can: Jim Marko, UYRS Intern to Join South Point Racing at Charlotte

Brendan Gaughan's South Point Racing team will be one of four NCTS teams hosting interns from the Urban Youth Racing School as part of the '2007 Craftsman Career Development Program.' Eighteen-year-old Johnny Ortiz from Northeast Philadelphia will work with the South Point team during the week leading up to Charlotte and at the race track prior to the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 race on Friday night. A special decal honoring the program and the UYRS student will be on the rear quarter panel of the No. 77 Chevrolet Silverado.

"Whoever gets the internship with us better watch out because I've been known to hire the most qualified employees, and I know what Anthony Martin and the Urban Youth Racing School have been doing the last few years," Gaughan said. "I know what a great job they've been doing. If this is one of their older kids getting ready to graduate, we may be trying to talk him into moving to Las Vegas when he is done with his internship. I'm excited to have them with us this week, honored to be a part of the program and really looking forward to it."

Gaughan's Favorite Charlotte Eatery Featured on Race Truck

The No. 77 South Point Chevrolet Silverado will also carry the colors of a favorite local restaurant of Gaughan's. While living in Charlotte in 2004, Gaughan became a regular and part of the family at Dressler's Restaurant in Birkdale Village. So, this weekend, Gaughan will put the Dressler's logo on the No. 77 deck lid as a way of saying thank you to his friends.

"It (2004) was a tough year for me, personally, and I found kind of a second home at Dressler's," Gaughan said. "I've always been a guy that likes familiarity and likes being around friends, Dressler's was right underneath my apartment and I would go there three nights a week.

"Mr. (John) Dressler, the owner of the place, John Glenn, his general manager and even the bartender Kevin became buddies. We'd just talk, have a great meal and be able to spend some time not think about racing. They made it very comfortable for me. I'll always appreciate what they did.

"Having them on my truck is a way to give back. We're going to have a nice team dinner there. And I'm sure I'll eat there at least three or four times while I'm there -- Cowboy ribeye, they keep it on the menu just for me. We figured we give back to them and try and get them a little more notoriety in the Charlotte area because John Dressler just has a great restaurant."

South Point Racing Recognizes Military Through Special Decals

For the second consecutive season, South Point Racing will recognize various military units through its Military Appreciation Program (MAP).

This weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the South Point Racing Team is recognizing the 82nd Airborne, locate at Fort Bragg.

The 82nd Airborne Division has had its share of famous soldiers from Sergeant Alvin C. York to General James M. Gavin. But that's not what the 82nd is really about. The real story of the 82nd is the thousands of unnamed paratroopers in jump boots, baggy pants and maroon berets, who have always been ready and willing to jump into danger and then drive on until the mission was accomplished.

The 82nd has become so well known for its airborne accomplishments that it's proud World War I heritage is almost forgotten. The 82nd Infantry Division was formed August 25, 1917, at Camp Gordon, Georgia. Since members of the Division came from all 48 states, the unit was given the nickname "All-Americans," hence its famed "AA" shoulder patch.

-credit: spr

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Brendan Gaughan