GAUGHAN BRINGS HOYA PRIDE TO THE MONSTER MILE LAS VEGAS, NV (May 29, 2007) -- Brendan Gaughan will tackle Dover's 'Monster Mile' this weekend with an extra shot of confidence as he sports a special Georgetown University paint scheme on his No....
GAUGHAN BRINGS HOYA PRIDE TO THE MONSTER MILE
LAS VEGAS, NV (May 29, 2007) -- Brendan Gaughan will tackle Dover's 'Monster Mile' this weekend with an extra shot of confidence as he sports a special Georgetown University paint scheme on his No. 77 Chevrolet Silverado.
For Gaughan, Georgetown is second only to his love of racing.
"There aren't many race car drivers period that have college degrees especially from colleges that are the caliber of a Georgetown University," Gaughan said. "When I get to run that paint scheme, it's an honor and a privilege to me. I'm proud to be a Hoya."
This weekend at Dover, Gaughan will honor his school and its athletic programs on the race track. Following the race, Gaughan will donate all his winnings from the Dover race back to the University where he learned many life lessons.
"Being part of Georgetown and its athletic program is something that I am so proud of, which is why I want to represent them on my race truck," said Gaughan, whose No. 77 Chevrolet will feature the Georgetown basketball logo and the team's mascot, Jack the Bulldog. "Coach (John) Thompson was so much more than a coach or a teacher -- he was a friend, a hero, a mentor. I want to make him and the entire athletic department proud with our truck and our run at Dover.
"I can't think of a better way to give back to a place that meant so much to me."
The Las Vegas native attended Georgetown University and graduated in 1997 with a degree in business management. But Gaughan did more than attend classes while at Georgetown -- he participated in two collegiate sports. Gaughan earned All-Conference honors in NCAA Division IAA football.
He also earned a spot on the Hoyas basketball team, playing for legendary coach and mentor John Thompson. The team Gaughan played on recorded two Big East regular season championships and competed in two Sweet 16s and one Elite Eight in post-season NCAA tournament play.
The one-mile concrete oval is one of Gaughan's favorite tracks on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, despite the fact that he has only one top 10 in four tries. Gaughan's best run at 'The Monster Mile' was a seventh-place finish during his 2002 rookie season.
Gaughan hopes his South Point Racing team can improve on that this year
"Dover is the most amazing race track," Gaughan said. "It's the only race track where my spotter has had to remind me to breathe.
"It's the only place you feel a sensation of speed. It's Bristol on steroids. It's a great race track. It's fast. It's aggressive. It is a monster. It's fun as hell to race. I know that I blew a chance to win in Dover at 2003, and I'd like to get that back this time."
With the additional support from Chevrolet this year and the extra research and development that crew chief Bryan Berry has put into each race, Gaughan feels confident that his South Point Racing team will make him a contender for the Dover win.
"We have to have good front travel, and we have to get the geometry of the truck right because Dover is a place where you can't be tight," he said. "Dover's a wide track. You can go top to bottom. If you're tight, you're scrubbing speed and slowing down. It's a concrete track which makes it so fast that the problems are compounded. So, you really have to work hard to get your front end to travel right. This year, Mike Roos (our shock specialist) and Bryan Berry (crew chief) have been doing a lot of good things on our shocks and suspension and rear grip. I think we have the best shock program we have ever had, so I foresee them doing a really good job getting us rear grip and making us a force at the track."
With the Georgetown logos prominently featured on his race truck, Gaughan also hopes that some of the positive energy from the recent run of the Hoyas basketball team will flow his way. And good luck sure can't hurt.
"Hopefully, we'll go to Dover and make a run for Georgetown and the No. 77 fans out there just like my Hoyas basketball team did during March Madness," Gaughan said. "We do this for all the athletic programs, so I'll invite the entire athletic staff. If they want to come, I would love to have them. But of course, I'll be asking the football and basketball teams if they want to send anybody out there -- the current program and my program. Coach (John) Thompson III-- he's done such a good job this year, I'd love to have him and the whole team hang out with me.
"They got to the Final Four man, I could use some of their mojo."
And when the checkered flag waves, Gaughan just wants to make his race team and his former college team proud. Celebrating in victory lane would be the perfect way to do just that.
Gaughan, Crew Members Visit with D.C. Urban Youth Racing School
Before tackling the concrete oval of Dover International Speedway on June 1, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) driver Brendan Gaughan and a member of his South Point Racing team will make a pit stop at the Urban Youth Racing School (UYRS) in Washington, D.C.
Gaughan, along with rear tire carrier Chris Justice, will visit with students at the UYRS-D.C. on Wednesday, May 30 at 3 p.m. at the IDEA Public Charter School, 1027 45th Street, NE, where UYRS-DC is housed.
"I'm really proud of what Anthony Martin has done with the Urban Youth Racing School," Gaughan said. "It started out as just a little bitty dream in a little building in Philadelphia, and he talked about getting it to other inner cities. I'm really proud and excited for him that he achieved his goal and has started a school in Washington, D.C. -- one of many more to come."
Gaughan has a unique tie to the Washington, D.C. branch of the UYRS because of his Georgetown connection.
"I can't think of a better place than D.C. to go and get something done for the kids that need some help to get out of the inner city," Gaughan said. "If we can give them another avenue to get interested in something like racing through the UYRS, it's just another way that we can give them a chance in life."
The South Point Racing team also has a special connection with UYRS -- several members of Gaughan's over-the-wall crew are African-American, including Justice who will visit with students at the school.
The visit will be the first chance Gaughan, who has been a spokesperson for UYRS, has had to visit the school's newest location. It will also give students the opportunity to meet a NASCAR driver and to ask questions and learn from pit crew members.
DOUBLE DUTY FOR GAUGHAN AS HE TAKES ON DOVER, BAJA 500
Brendan Gaughan will be logging both miles on track and in the air this weekend as he will pull double duty in the AAA Insurance 200 NCTS race at Dover on Friday and in the Baja 500 in Mexico on Saturday morning. This will be the third of Gaughan's six scheduled SCORE desert races this year.
Following the NCTS race on Friday afternoon, Gaughan will board his family's plane with his mother and fellow desert racer Robby Gordon to fly to San Diego. The drivers will be picked up there and both will race in the Baja 500 on Saturday morning.
"We're race car drivers -- look at Kenny Schrader, Tony Stewart and Robby-- the more things you run, the more it helps you in other Series," Gaughan said. " I like to keep myself going and run the desert races. Driving a desert race is 10 times more difficult than any NASCAR race you could ever race, so it keeps me on my toes. It keeps my reflexes good.
"And most of all, it's a passion for me. My father did it his whole life. Since I was a baby, I have been at the desert races. There's pictures of me at two-years-old in my daddy's arms and he's in his helmet and race suit.
"So, we're going to go to Baja. It's part of the same course that the Baja 250 was back a couple of months ago with the two added sections that we are pre-running on Monday and Tuesday this week. Derek Kreger has our Class 1 Chevrolet buggy prepped and ready. We have had some problems with our X-Trac Transmission in the past, but they have really have stepped up and we think they have fixed our problems. We're going to go and see if we can't do all 500 miles. To win that race with the record number of entries and 53 of them in Class 1, would be a huge win for me and my whole family.
"Although I'm really excited about the Baja, my focus has to stay on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. I have to take care of the South Point Racing team, Chevrolet and all our sponsors first. We're coming off a great run at a short track for me -- a ninth-place finish at Mansfield, and Dover is one of my favorite race tracks in the country. It's a phenomenal place to race, and we're running a Georgetown truck there this weekend -- so I really want to come away from the race with a great finish."