Event Preview – Las Vegas – Nationwide
This Week’s South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Brendan Gaughan will pilot Chassis No. 103 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This RCR racer was built brand new for the 2012 season and will make its first competitive laps on Friday during first practice.
Nationwide Series Regular … Gaughan returns to the Nationwide Series after a one-year hiatus from the sophomore touring division. The Las Vegas native will make his 72nd career start in the Nationwide Series when the green flag waves for Saturday’s 200-lap affair. He’s earned six top-five and 17 top-10 finishes in a span of three seasons in the Nationwide Series, as well as a pole award in March 2009 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Statistical Database … In two previous Nationwide Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval, Gaughan has notched one top-10 and two top-15 finishes with his best finish of seventh coming in February 2009. In both starts at the Las Vegas facility, he led for a total of seven laps and completed 100 percent of the contested laps. Gaughan also competed in one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and 11 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at his home track, earning one victory in the Truck Series in 2003 after starting from the pole position.
Where it All Started … A resident of the Las Vegas area, Gaughan started racing the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in 1998 at tracks in close proximity to “The Strip.” The 2000 and 2001 K&N Pro Series West champion holds one win, four top-five and five top-10 finishes in eight combined starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the LVMS Bullring between the years of 1998 and 2002 in the Pro Series.
Gaughan Times Two … This weekend’s race in Las Vegas will mark Gaughan’s first doubleheader weekend, competing in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races. Gaughan will pilot the No. 33 South Point Casino & Hotel Chevrolet Sprint Cup Series entry for the Welcome, N.C.-based organization on Sunday for the Kobalt Tools 400. Flag-to-flag coverage of the event will be aired on FOX beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
Sign Here … Meet the driver of the No. 33 Chevrolet on Thursday, Mar. 8 at South Point Hotel & Casino, located at 9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Gaughan will sign autographs for gathered fans from 6-8 p.m. local time
More to Come … Gaughan will compete in a total of 10 Nationwide Series races for RCR in 2012. The Las Vegas native will share the No. 33 Chevrolet Impala in Nationwide Series competition alongside RCR teammates Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard, Tony Stewart and Max Papis with Ernie Cope serving as crew chief. The 36-year-old driver will see on-track action at Auto Club Speedway (Mar. 24), Darlington Speedway (May 11), both Iowa Speedway events (May 20 and Aug. 4), Dover International Speedway (June 2), Chicagoland Speedway (July 22), Circuit Gilles Villenuevue (Aug. 18), Kentucky Speedway (Sept. 22) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 10).
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTES:
This is your first NASCAR Nationwide Series race with RCR. What are your thoughts about running under the prestigious banner?
“I’m really excited to race for such a great organization. The only downside, if there is one, is that now it’s my turn to keep the hot streak going that RCR has started off the season with.”
What will it be like to race in front of a hometown crowd again?
“Racing in Las Vegas has always been special to me because the people in this town have been so supportive of my family. It feels good to show up and know that the locals are really cheering for you.”
What are your expectations heading into the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway?
“After watching Kevin Harvick dominate in Phoenix (International Raceway) and the awesome performance of all three RCR Nationwide teams, I don’t believe I have ever been more excited to get to a race track. I have high expectations for the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Nationwide Series car.”