SPARTA, Ky. – It never crossed Brendan Gaughan’s mind if he would win again in NASCAR, but after a 10-year drought, the mind began to wander. All that wondering, thinking and stressing though (finally) came to an end nearly a week ago in Road America (Wisc.), when Gaughan recorded his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series win in dramatic fashion in the Gardner Denver 200.
Gaughan, considered one of the liveliest and fan-favorite drivers in the sport is still riding cloud nine entering tonight’s John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve got a win and it’s been documented greatly by many, many places, it’s one of those things where I always said when I got back to Victory Lane, I understood the difference between when I was 28 years old and when I’m 38 years old, but I appreciate it very much, I appreciate all the words and all the support that fans, friends, people you didn’t know were friends, people that hated you. All the kind words have been really overwhelming, I’ve taken it all in and appreciate every bit of it. I think the best congratulations I got (though) was from my father (Michael) who reminded me that ‘even a blind squirrel finds a nut some days.”
While some were surprised by Gaughan’s triumph on a road course, the obvious improvement in ECR power, as well as new chassis’ in recent NASCAR Nationwide Series races has bode well for the organization and leaves the Welcome, North Carolina organization on a hot streak, winning the last two races at Michigan International Speedway and Road America respectively.
“We’ve been talking about it for a few weeks now,” sounded Gaughan. “We’ve rolled out a brand new generation of our chassis and bodies, I have the race car that raced Charlotte, which is a kind-of hybrid of our new technology, but it was very good. We expect great things when we come to a place like this and now we’re starting to prove it, we’re on a two game winning streak here with Paul Menard at Michigan and myself at Road America, so we would love to keep that steak alive.
“This statistically I think is one of my best tracks in NASCAR, so I’m coming in here with very, very high expectations. Our race team is starting to feel good. The goal is to come in here and be like I always am. Be the same guy, drive the hell out of the racecar, give Shane Wilson (crew chief) the feedback, try to make it better and have the confidence in the equipment that I’ve always have, but now I have a little more confidence in myself. I would love to get it done on an oval again.”