Brendan Gaughan set to enjoy his favorite month of racing

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 16: Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet, looks on during practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Irish Hills 250 at Michigan International Speedway on June 16, 2017 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – If Brendan Gaughan qualifies for the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff, the month of August likely will play a large part in his success.

Three of the next four Xfinity races take place on road courses, broken up only by a short-track event at Bristol. But this weekend’s Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International, followed by trips to Mid-Ohio (Aug. 12) and Road America (Aug. 27 after Bristol) are the events that have Gaughan’s attention.

In qualifying for last year’s playoff, Gaughan finished eighth at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio before posting a runner-up finish at Road America. The latter two races were settled in the rain.

“Everybody knows I love me my road racing,” said Gaughan, who drives the No. 62 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. “I circle this month at the start of the season and say, ‘This is what I look forward to.’ I love starting it at Watkins Glen. I love Mid-Ohio. Road America, of course, one of my favorites in the country

“This month to me is one of the coolest months of racing NASCAR’s ever come up with. If it rains, that doesn’t bother me much at all. I will be very, very happy if it rains.

Gaughan, 41, is currently 12th in the series standings, squarely on the playoff bubble

SHORT STROKES

Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano topped the speed charts, respectively, in Friday’s first and second NASCAR Xfinity Series practices at Watkins Glen International. Keselowski had the fastest lap of the day at the 2.45-mile road course, running 122.200 mph in the first session. Keselowski was the only driver to top 122 mph in either practice…

Seeking his 90th Xfinity Series victory, Kyle Busch was second fastest in both practice sessions, running a best lap at 122.586 mph in the opening session… Englishman Stephen Young, making his NASCAR debut in Saturday’s Zippo 200, had the fastest 10-lap average in Happy Hour – because he was the only driver to run 10 consecutive laps.

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