Kentucky: Brendan Gaughan preview

COWBOY ROOTS WILL GUIDE GAUGHAN IN KENTUCKY, AS FATHER IS INDUCTED INTO PRO RODEO HALL OF FAME LAS VEGAS, NV (July 9, 2007) -- This weekend in the Bluegrass State, Brendan Gaughan will pay tribute to his favorite cowboy -- his father, Michael ...

COWBOY ROOTS WILL GUIDE GAUGHAN IN KENTUCKY, AS FATHER IS INDUCTED INTO PRO RODEO HALL OF FAME

LAS VEGAS, NV (July 9, 2007) -- This weekend in the Bluegrass State, Brendan Gaughan will pay tribute to his favorite cowboy -- his father, Michael Gaughan.

On Saturday, while Brendan works to wheel his No. 77 South Point Chevrolet Silverado to the front of the field at Kentucky Speedway his father will be inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, CO.

Brendan will carry the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame's logo on his truck's decklid and B-posts in honor of his father's induction. Underneath the logo is a message to team owner Michael Gaughan, which reads "For our real cowboy, congratulations, Michael!"

"My father has two passions in life outside of family and work -- his race team and his horses," Brendan said. "We are really honored that he is being inducted into the Hall of Fame -- it's so special to him and our entire family. The whole team is really excited about it and as a surprise and to honor Dad -- our team owner -- we worked with the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame to be able to put a special decal on the truck this weekend at Kentucky. And we're going to do everything we can to get him a win on a day that is special for him and my family."

Michael Gaughan, 64, is being inducted in the "notables" category into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Michael Gaughan is one of eight people who will be inducted on Saturday. Over the years, Michael Gaughan has played an integral role in developing the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) and moving it to Las Vegas in 1985. Michael Gaughan serves on the NFR Committee and is also a stock contractor.

"As far as the rodeo has gone, my dad has been one of the key players in getting and keeping the NFR in Las Vegas, and each year, that's a big family event," Brendan Gaughan said. "Dad's been one of the key players in always making sure that the cowboys have their entry fees paid. When Mr. (Benny) Binnion passed away, I think a lot of people were worried about who was going to take up the slack for what a big cowboy guy he was. I think my dad stepped into that role. He and Mr. Binnion were good friends and had a lot of the same theories and ideas about the cowboys, and they really have taken care of them over the years. My dad's a cowboy at heart."

And on Saturday night, his son will have to cowboy-up to tackle the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway, where Brendan has just one top five in four starts. In fact, his best finish at the track was a third-place just last year.

"I know that our intermediate track program is solid," Brendan said. "Going back to our runner-up finish at Homestead last year, I'm just comfortable with what Bryan Berry and the guys give me at the bigger tracks. I have confidence going back to Kentucky since we had a good run there last year, and I know that this South Point Racing team is due for a good run."

And a good run is all Brendan could ask for on a night that is so special for his dad.

"Over the years, I have had to miss quite a few special occasions with football, basketball and racing and that's just part of trying to live your own life," Gaughan said. "But this is one event that I would really like to be at because being inducted into a Hall of Fame is such an incredible honor. Dad was at my induction into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame a few years back, and I know how special that was for me and him both.

"Now, he's being recognized for all he has done, and I wish I could be there for him. He's going to have all his buddies around. They are having a South Point Cowboy Ball on Friday night. It's just such a cool deal. It's going to be hard not to be there to see him, but I know he wants me to focus on my driving and this race. So, I think the best thing we can do on Saturday is to go out and try to win a race for him on his special day, which would be kind of fun."

BRENDAN GAUGHAN:

"My stats don't show it, but we have always run well at Kentucky. We were leading the race there in 2003 and the motor blew. But this year, every place where we have gone with a great history, we haven't done so well. Maybe if we go to a place where we don't have a history of good finishes, we'll have a better weekend.

"Kentucky is always around my birthday," said Gaughan, who turns 32 on Tuesday, July 10. "So we always have a fun time there. Last year was pretty cool -- we had the Superman logo on the hood and guys got me with Silly String. And this weekend we'll be special, too, with my dad's induction into the Hall of Fame. We're going to see if this cowboy can go out there and win one for him."

Gaughan and his South Point Racing team took advantage of the week off. After the July 4th holiday, Gaughan and several of his crew members traveled South of the Border to his family's home in Rosarito Beach, Mexico.

"One of the things that makes our South Point Racing team so special is how close everyone is to the owners. The boys had an opportunity to take some time off last week, and Dad gave us our house in Mexico to use. So, we had about 15 people -- guys from the team and their significant others -- go down and relax and play at our house in Mexico. It's a beautiful place, and we all had a lot of fun. It's just our way to show everyone that we really appreciate how hard they work and everything they do for me and this race team."

-credit: spr

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Brendan Gaughan