Texas: Brendan Gaughan - NASCAR spotlight

Gaughan gunning for "three-peat" at Texas Motor Speedway DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 4, 2003) -- In October 2002, Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Orleans Dodge) became the first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver to win two consecutive races at...

Gaughan gunning for "three-peat" at Texas Motor Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 4, 2003) -- In October 2002, Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Orleans Dodge) became the first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver to win two consecutive races at Texas Motor Speedway.

Now, Gaughan takes aim at matching one of the series' most elusive records: three straight victories at the same track.

Only one competitor -- Jack Sprague -- has achieved a "three-peat." Sprague, who went on to capture three series titles, won his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on April 21, 1996 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Sprague, now a Raybestos rookie contender on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, added another win when the series returned to the desert in November and went to victory circle yet again at Phoenix in April 1997.

The feat has gone unmatched since. Ironically, Sprague was the last to take a shot at his own record, finishing 31st at California Speedway in his 170th and -- to date -- last NASACAR Craftsman Truck Series start after posting back-to-back wins there in 1998 and '99.

Gaughan takes his turn Friday night when he defends his victory in the O'Reilly 400K. The Las Vegas native was the ninth different winner in 10 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at the 1.5-mile speedway.

Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Performance Dodge -- California 2001, '02) could also join the select group Sept. 20 while Dennis Setzer (No. 46 AXICOM/Computer Associates Chevrolet -- Martinsville 2002, '03) -- could also be included following the season's second race at Martinsville Oct. 18.

Gaughan isn't looking in the mirror, even though he's finished second, first and first in his past three trips to Fort Worth.

"What winning means is that everyone on your entire team is firing on all eight cylinders," he said. "In short, you can put everything together and basically create your own luck."

Gaughan had an up-and-down 2002 season. He won twice and became the Raybestos Rookie of the Year. Conversely, he finished outside the top 10 in the final point standings -- and wasn't at all pleased.

Although his most recent race at Dover International Speedway was cut short by an accident, Gaughan continues to rank fourth in the championship chase on the strength of three top-five finishes. He believes lightning could strike a third time at Texas Motor Speedway.

"Well, I'm from Las Vegas so I grew up in a town built on odds, not luck, but odds," said Gaughan. "If I flip a quarter nine times and it comes up tails nine times, what are the odds of the next toss coming up tails? The answer is 50-50. Just because it has come up tails nine times doesn't mean that a head is due. Your odds are 50-50 every time. At Texas this time we have exactly the same chance (as a year ago)."

Actually, Gaughan said, the odds might be better than 50-50.

"That's because we are more prepared and a better, more experienced team," he said.

-nascar-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ted Musgrave , Jack Sprague , Brendan Gaughan