Texas: Brendan Gaughan preview

Gaughan Not 'Undefeated' But Still Tough To Beat Chex 400 Favorite Is 4-1, Two Years Since Last Texas Race FORT WORTH, Tex. -- The favorite to win Friday's Chex 400 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the fast Texas Motor Speedway ...

Gaughan Not 'Undefeated' But Still Tough To Beat
Chex 400 Favorite Is 4-1, Two Years Since Last Texas Race

FORT WORTH, Tex. -- The favorite to win Friday's Chex 400 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the fast Texas Motor Speedway hasn't raced a truck there in nearly two years. But driver after driver asked to name the one to beat Friday night mentioned Brendan Gaughan easily as the favorite.

"His first time there, he finished second, and he considers that a bad night," laughed second-year driver Brandon Whitt. "How can you figure against somebody like that? My thinking is if you can finish in front of Brendan -- and only one person has done that in five Texas Truck races -- then you're going to have a heck of a night."

Gaughan, who is driving a partial schedule for Orleans Racing, is quick to point out the less-than-perfect Texas record. "I'm not undefeated," are the first words out of his mouth.

Still, the talented driver has no plans for anything worse than another victory in the Chex 400.

"With how well the Orleans Team has been jelling together right now and all the new stuff that we have, I feel really good heading into the race. I think we can go there and probably get that fifth win," Gaughan said.

Gaughan started taming Texas with his second-place finish in the 2001 Truck Series race. He followed that up with wins in both races of 2002 and both races of 2003 before heading to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

Needless to say, that string came thanks to not just his driving skills but the ingenuity of the mechanical minds behind Orleans Racing and a sound strategy. . . testing at Texas World Speedway in College Park, Tex., for example.

"We always go to Texas World Speedway. Every time we won at Texas Motor Speedway we always went to Texas World Speedway first and it was just the thing," Gaughan said. "It's not a superstitious thing. I know where we have to be at to win at Texas Motor Speedway by what we do at Texas World Speedway. If I can get to that time -- and Rambo (crew chief Tony Liberati) knows what it is -- if we can reach that same time we're going to be happy."

When you are half cowboy at heart, doing well in the Chex 400 at Texas Motor Speedway is just, well, expected.

"Atlanta, Charlotte and Texas are all very similar designs but I love the whole state of Texas thing -- the cowboy thing. There's a cowboy side to me and my family and we've just always done well at Texas Motor Speedway ever since the (2001) TKO race, the NAPA truck that won twice, the Orleans truck that won twice. I really don't know what it is," he said. "I just like getting to claim cowboy status once in awhile."

A Nevada cowboy eating Chex cereal in Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway? The possibilities are obviously strong, and Gaughan is feeling nothing but excitement.

Pressure?

"No, it's just fun. Pressure is another word for fun. It means you've been doing something right," Gaughan said, "so I'm excited about it. I'm hoping that with any luck we can go there with a great piece of equipment and end up trying to catch that fifth win in a row and do the same thing."

That opportunity comes in the Chex 400, Friday night, June 10, at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway.

-cw-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Brendan Gaughan , Brandon Whitt