BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 62 Orleans Racing Dodge Ram) "Can you (race a Winston Cup team out of Las Vegas)? I'm a stubborn SOB like my father. People tell me I can't, and I automatically say, 'I'm going to prove you wrong.' Can you? Yes. Are we...
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 62 Orleans Racing Dodge Ram)
"Can you (race a Winston Cup team out of Las Vegas)?
I'm a stubborn SOB like my father. People tell me I can't, and I automatically say, 'I'm going to prove you wrong.' Can you? Yes. Are we able to at this point? No. What would it take? Six truck drivers, two or three semis, twice the team and time and a half the money. Ten years from now when I've spent 10 years in Winston Cup and bounced around and hopefully been with one team and having a twilight, I'd love to be the first one to come out and do it, but right now, no.
"I'm staying in the Craftsman Truck Series. It would take the moon wrapped around a paper bag delivered on my doorstep. My race team now has a manufacturer signed for next year and a multi-year deal, not for me for the team. The Orleans Racing Team has the deal, which makes me happy. If and when I ever leave this team, the team has to survive without me. They've gone too hard, worked too hard, gone too far to just close up. The next thing I need is a sponsor. I don't have a sponsor. I have a manufacturer. If I could get a sponsor, then I would look. Right now I'm not even looking because my team isn't ready for me to leave.
"I feel we can win this thing (Martinsville race). We've got a good Dodge truck today. We sucked half the day in practice. I told Shane Wilson (crew chief) it was a piece of junk. He said he didn't know what else to do. I told him I didn't, so he turned around and threw three springs in it and something else and we went out there and it worked. We have a good truck, and we feel like we can win with it. We get through here, there's two left and we feel great.
"Matt Kenseth has done a phenomenal job. I think some of the problem is the media and some of the public think Kenseth is a boring guy. They want to make something out of it. I think he's a great guy, and he's done a hell of a job. It's tough to run in the top five and top 10 every week. He loves to win. He doesn't sit there and try to finish 10th every week. He tries to win. If he can't win, he finishes as high up as possible and doesn't wreck his stuff. I think that's textbook racing. That's what I've been taught since I was in the desert. If you can win, win. If you can't, finish. He tries to win. He gets up there and leads laps and runs well. In the end, Ryan has been out horsepowering them, and out fuel mileaging them and out driving them and winning, but he's blown up a lot. He hasn't finished a lot, but he has eight wins. I have six wins against one win. Do I feel there should be more points for a win? Yeah, I'm saying that now, but if I was on the other end I wouldn't. I think the point system is fine. Maybe more bonus points for whatever, but I think the points system is fine. The Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series prove it.
"The truck series has more competition than ever. I don't care what people say about no Ron Hornaday and no Jack Sprague, the competition in the Craftsman Truck Series is tougher than it's ever been. Robert Pressley, Ted Musgrave, the 16 team with Mike Bliss, Rick Crawford, Dennis Setzer, a ton of experience up there. The Roush teams with Jon Wood and Carl Edwards can win any weekend. David Starr has made his team a winning team. You've got more teams now that can win than ever before. It's just a hell of a battle.
"I think I'm ready for Formula One. I'm a cocky pain in the butt. I have a great father, and John Thompson both instilled in me self-confidence. I believe if there is a race team around us, this whole business is not about the driver. It's about what's surrounding the driver. Race teams are huge. The guys have to understand that. Do I believe I'm ready? Maybe I'm not, I don't know. I know the first time I go to race tracks it takes me awhile to get going. I know that when I come to places I haven't been to a lot, it still takes me awhile to get going. I'm also smart enough to know that if I go to Dover I'm going to follow Ted Musgrave around for 50 laps and try to figure out what he's doing. I'm not stupid. If I had a chance to go Winston Cup racing, all I can promise is that I'd be smart. You put a crew chief with me, I'll do what he says, and I'll drive my butt off for you. I can't set a spring, shock or swaybar. I've never been that driver. I don't ever plan on being that driver. I want to have a race team that supports the driver and everybody knows how to work in the team system. That's what I learned at Georgetown, and that's what I take to our race team, and that's what I believe I would take to any race team.
"These are big weekends for us. I think it's big for the series (to run in conjunction with Winston Cup). I think the Craftsman Truck Series has a chance to become a top notch deal. Is it ever going to become Winston Cup? No. The fans like it. No offense to the Busch Grand National Series, but the fans are tired of looking at the identical racecar and the identical drivers. They like seeing the Cup cars and Craftsman trucks on the same weekend. I think if we keep going, I'd like to see a Craftsman Truck race on Fox and NBC. Give us two nationally televised races. I think that would be great for the series."