Facts-In-A-Flash Pocono Raceway June 13, 2004 Brendan Gaughan Looks Forward to Racing at Pocono Raceway: Brendan Gaughan, driver of the No. 77 Kodak EasyShare Dodge, is looking forward to his first start at Pocono Raceway. "Pocono is one of...
Facts-In-A-Flash Pocono Raceway June 13, 2004
Brendan Gaughan Looks Forward to Racing at Pocono Raceway:
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the No. 77 Kodak EasyShare Dodge, is looking forward to his first start at Pocono Raceway.
"Pocono is one of the legendary tracks we hear about all the time and I am looking forward to racing there," Gaughan said. "I have heard stories of deer running across the track and the flag man using his hands to signify antlers. The only thing that concerns me right now is the Kodak Racing team's luck. I mean, if a deer happens to run across the track this time, Bambi will probably end up as my hood ornament. Venison anyone? And another thing, how would they let us know about a bear?"
Gaughan on the Debacle at Dover International Speedway:
"What can I say about last week? Other than 'that is the longest 400-miler I have ever raced!' I am not sure there is much else I can say."
"I don't envy NASCAR and the decisions they have to make. When it comes down to it, I am sure they are not sitting up in the booth with a hat and a bunch of slips of paper, drawing randomly to make the calls. I may not agree with all of their decisions, but then again, they may not agree with everything I say either. That is the beauty in democracy."
Gaughan's First Impression of the Pocono Track:
"I went out to pit road to take a look at the track's surface and I couldn't help but notice the length of the front straight," Gaughan said. "The track itself is mammoth, but the front straight could sub as a small runway."
"It's like somebody just flew over the Pocono Mountains and said, 'That land there is too flat to ski on. I know, let's put a race track there'. I mean, it is in the middle of nowhere. It was great!"
Kodak Racing Team Happy with Pocono Test Session Though a Lot Remains to be Seen:
"As test sessions go, it was a good test," said Shane Wilson, crew chief for the No. 77 Penske-Jasper team.
"Brendan seemed to feel comfortable in the seat and with the shifting. The real test will come this weekend. A test session can only give you an idea of where to start. Results after running with the other teams will be the assessment we are looking for."
Bringing in Back-Up:
Terry DeKemper, a transmission specialist from Jasper Engines and Transmissions in Jasper, Ind., will attend the weekend's events at Pocono Raceway to assist with race preparations.
Shifting an Advantage to Some, Trial for Others:
Gaughan is confident in his abilities to shift through the gears at the 2.5-mile facility and says, "Shifting is something I am comfortable with. This is only going to help me prepare for all the shifting we will do at [Infineon Raceway] in a couple of weeks."
Gaughan Says Pocono is Like No Other, Yet Similar to a Couple:
"I think the shifting part will be difficult for some drivers and a breeze for others. It's all about talent. I just hope mine holds up.
"I like shifting. I shifted twice at Gateway [International Raceway] in the trucks, and that was unheard of, but we won. I am not saying that will carry over here, but I am willing to try new things."
"When we tested, I told Buddy [Baker] I was loose in turn 4 and he told me there was no turn 4. I told him if an oval has four turns, then we are counting corners to the turns. In that case, Pocono has six!"
"Pocono is shaped so much differently than any other track we race on. I am looking forward to my first time because two of the three turns - I still say there are six - remind me of tracks I raced at in the [NASCAR] Truck Series. I just do not envy Shane [Wilson] and the rest of the guys. They have to set the car up for a couple of different tracks, all in one race. Then again, I don't envy myself. I have to give them the right feedback to make sure I like the way the car handles. Stress-tabs would be good here."
Team Test Session:
The Kodak Racing team is preparing for Infineon Raceway, the first of two road-course events on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule, at Virginia International Raceway. Originally, the team planned to test on Tuesday, June 8; Wednesday, June 9; and Tuesday, June 15. Due to changes in assembly schedules, the team cancelled the June 8 test date.
Brendan Gaughan will race chassis No. 26 at Pocono Raceway. The No. 77 Kodak Racing team raced this same chassis at Las Vegas earlier this year (Start 8th/Finish 22nd).