Rookie Gaughan gets first win BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 62 NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Ram) NOTE: This is Gaughan's first NCTS victory in his rookie season and 24th career start. His previous best finish was a second-place run at Texas last year. The...
Rookie Gaughan gets first win
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 62 NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Ram)
NOTE: This is Gaughan's first NCTS victory in his rookie season and 24th career start. His previous best finish was a second-place run at Texas last year. The win is the fourth win for Dodge this year, and second victory at Texas.
"The NAPA Dodge Ram was strong tonight. That was the main reason why we switched to Dodge Motorsports is the fact that you get wind tunnel time and you get engineering help. The only advantage that Dodge Motorsports has is the people who are taking care of their teams. I just found out that we are the first winner in Dodge's 'Run with the Ram' program. We're the first Dodge team to win that's not a full-factory backed team. So, I'm honored. I'm privileged.
"I do want to say one thing. There's one man who's really special in this deal. His name is Tom Mount. Tom is the guy that dug our truck bodies for us. He goes to the wind tunnel for us when we get our wind tunnel time from Dodge. Without what Tom did with this truck, we wouldn't be anywhere near here. This was the most balanced racetrack you could ever ask for.
"We were hoping this would come earlier. The Orleans team is the only team based out on the west coast with the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We knew we'd be strong. It just took us a little time to get going. We had zero Dodge Rams in our NAPA shop on January third of this year. Now we have seven of them. The guys have been worked really hard. NAPA Auto Parts made a very bold statement to me when we signed this deal to do the trucks. NAPA left in '99 as champions, and they wanted to come back as nothing less. We're not anywhere near the top of the points yet, but we've got one win and hopefully this is our push toward the front.
"The guys have been working hard, and we've had some little things going wrong. We had a run at Darlington go south, with an air gun breaking and not getting our tire tight. We had a great run going at Martinsville. We still finished ninth, but the driver made a huge mistake and cost us a bunch of stops. St. Louis is the only track that we really didn't have something there for it, but all the other races we sort of gave it away. At Pikes Peak we had a truck that probably could've won it, and again the driver made a big, big mistake and hurt the truck pretty bad.
"Everybody might have thought that this is about where we'd be, but myself and (crew chief) Shane Wilson and (engine builder) Kevin Kroyer, we felt that we hadn't come to our potential yet. Coming to Texas we thought this was going to be a really legitimate chance for us, and it turned out to be true.
"Everybody had made fun of me in the past for being a very non-technical driver. I don't know what a lot of springs do. I don't know what a long of things do to the chassis to change the truck. I know what I feel in my butt, and I tell Shane that I trust him with whatever he wants to do. Shane made the call that two tires would be fine. We were really loose early in runs and full of fuel. It was pretty scary loose, actually. But two tires didn't bother me. That was Shane's call. Whatever he wants is what I do, and it worked out for us in the end. We were great on long runs, and that's what we set the truck up for.
"Kevin Kroyer has built every motor I've ever raced since I was 15 years old. He's like family to me. Kevin came in on the radio near the end and said, 'Don't even worry about conserving fuel, you're fine.' Once again, I'm not a technical guy. If Kevin says don't conserve, I don't conserve.
"Being part of the Georgetown family is very special. As a matter of fact, last weekend in Dover the head coach of the Hoyas, coach Craig Esherick, and one of the assistant coaches, Ed Spriggs, were out there at the race for me. I was honored to have them there, it really meant a lot to me. This year, I know that I'll get a couple of players to show up to some races for me now that the NBA season is over, and I can't wait to have them show up.