A tough weekend at Martinsville. Martinsville, VA...It was a tough weekend at Martinsville for Brendan Gaughan and Orleans Racing. In fact, it was one of those inevitable race weekends where nothing really goes according to plan. "It actually...
A tough weekend at Martinsville.
Martinsville, VA...It was a tough weekend at Martinsville for Brendan Gaughan and Orleans Racing. In fact, it was one of those inevitable race weekends where nothing really goes according to plan.
"It actually all started at the beginning of the week when we got to Greenville Pickens to test our No. 62 Orleans Dodge," explains Gaughan. "On arrival we were greeted with pouring rain that continued all through our planned testing time. Journeying on to Martinsville, the rain continued. It was really pretty bleak and the guys had to go through tech in the cold and wet. Luckily enough, although still very cold and cloudy throughout Friday, practice and qualifying was able to take place."
Running in the top ten in practice, Gaughan qualified in 11th, followed with a 4th fastest in 'Happy Hour'. "This was a vast improvement over last year," he said with a smile. "I would have liked to have scored a higher position, but figured we would be fine come race time."
When the Green Flag fell, Gaughan was ready. "Unfortunately we were really loose at the beginning. I was fighting all the way. It was impossible to run high so we were forced to stay on the bottom and we were definitely losing ground. While pitting was the obvious answer, doing so under green at this track means you automatically lose a lap or two. We didn't want to do that so we decided to stay out and hang on the best we could."
When the first yellow fell, Gaughan dove into the pits for the crew to make adjustments. "The guys did a great job and when I got back out, things were much improved," said Gaughan, "and I was able to start running some good competitive laps." Page 2
On the next yellow, Gaughan again pitted for tires, fuel and another adjustment. Getting out in great time, he gained a number of positions and actually began running in the top five. "We were a lot better," he said, "and I figured we would be able to finish the race in the top ten without too much problem."
However, that wasn't to be. Forty-nine laps from the finish, he got hit by another competitor and spun out on turn 3. "We dropped way back," he explained, "and that put us in traffic which is not where you want to be in a short track race. Bumping and banging all the way, Gaughan got caught in a couple of bottlenecks and had to pit once due to some loose body parts. Despite all the problems, he managed to fight his way back through part of the pack, settling for 16th place.
"The guys did a great job keeping me out there and although we lost some ground, we kept our third place in the point standing. The next round is at Lowes Motor Speedway and I think we can definitely make up some ground there.