Brendan Gaughan Finishes Fifth in Front of Hometown Crowd
Brendan Gaughan and the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet team earned a solid top-five finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series 2012 season in the Las Vegas 300 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The Las Vegas native took the green flag from the ninth position Saturday afternoon in front of an estimated 70,000 race fans after a one-year hiatus from the sophomore touring division. Early in the race, the black and gold Chevrolet developed a loose condition but over the first few caution periods, crew chief Ernie Cope called for minor chassis adjustments to combat the issue. Gaughan raced his way back into the top 10 by lap 42, but informed the No. 33 team members of a tight machine. Cope called for more chassis adjustments and fresh Goodyear tires on the ensuing pit stops under yellow-flag conditions. Just past the halfway mark of the 200-lap affair, Gaughan had the upper hand on the temperamental Chevrolet and began his trek into the top five. The final caution flag slowed the field on lap 158, but on the restart, Gaughan was shuffled back to the 10th position. In the last 40 laps of the race, Gaughan was able to claw his way through the field to bring home the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet, driving to a fifth-place finish his career-best finish at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:
“It feels really good to be back. Last year, I would have been doing back flips for a top-five finish but this year, I’m actually a little disappointed we didn’t finish in the top-three. It’s kind of nice to be disappointed about that. Ernie (Cope, crew chief) and all of the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino guys put together a fast race car. I can’t thank them and Richard Childress Racing enough for such a great piece of equipment.”