Brendan Gaughan returns for his ninth NASCAR XFINITY Series season following a berth in the inaugural XFINITY Series Chase, advancing to the Round of 8. This marks Gaughan’s sixth year with the Welcome, North Carolina, organization and fourth in the No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro. Crew chief Shane Wilson also returns for the fourth-straight season atop the pit box to lead Gaughan and the South Point Hotel & Casino team.
In 2016, the 41-year-old driver accumulated four top-five finishes and a career-high 16 top-10 finishes, leading him to a 12th-place finish in the XFINITY Series driver championship point standings. Gaughan battled with teammate Michael McDowell at Road America for a season-high second-place finish.
Gaughan was introduced to racing at an early age after watching his father compete on the off-road racing circuit. The second generation driver has gained experience in NASCAR’s top three series, Grand-Am Road Racing, Championship Off-Road Racing, Short-course Off-road Drivers Association (SODA) and Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts (SNORE). Gaughan made his first competitive laps at the age of 15 in the SNORE Midnight Special in a Class 10 buggy, winning the event with his co-driver JC Dean.
In a NASCAR career that spans the course of 19 seasons, Gaughan has amassed 10 career victories, four pole awards, 66 top-five and 143 top-10 finishes across NASCAR’s top three series. Gaughan also drove full time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West from 1999 to 2001, accumulating eight victories, four pole awards, 22 top-five and 28 top-10 finishes in 40 starts and brought home the championship title in 2000 and 2001. He was also voted 2001 K&N Pro Series West Most Popular Driver.
The Las Vegas-native completed a partial NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule from 1997 through 2001 and competed fulltime from 2002 through 2008, and again in 2011. Gaughan earned Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2002. Gaughan and crew chief Shane Wilson hold a two-year unbeaten streak of four consecutive Camping World Truck Series victories at Texas Motor Speedway in 2002 and 2003. During his 14-year Camping World Truck Series career, Gaughan accumulated eight victories, three pole awards, 47 top-five and 80 top-10 finishes in 217 starts since his first series appearance in 1997. He currently ranks 18th on the all-time Camping World Truck Series wins list.
In 2004, Gaughan competed full time in the NASCAR premiere series for Team Penske, driving the No. 77 Kodak/Jasper Engines Dodge, finishing 28th in driver championship point standings.
He joined RCR in 2012 on a part-time basis and raced a full-time Camping World Truck Series schedule in 2013. In 2014, he competed full time in the XFINITY Series. Gaughan earned his first career XFINITY Series victory in 2014 at Road America, and followed that with an additional victory at Kentucky Motor Speedway in September 2014, concluding the season eighth in the final point standing, his career best. In 2015, Gaughan accumulated three top-five and 14 top-10 finishes, leading to a ninth-place finish in the driver championship point standings.
Prior to becoming a full-time race car driver, the ambitious teenager was recruited by Georgetown University to play football. While in college, Gaughan found himself venturing out to other sports, joining the Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team as a walk-on player. Gaughan played from 1994 to 1997 with NBA greats such as Allen Iverson, Othella Harrington, Don Reid, Jahidi White and Jerome Williams. The team made it to the Big East Tournament championship, and played in three NCAA Tournaments going to the Sweet 16 twice and the Elite 8 once. While at Georgetown, Gaughan also obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management, with a specialization in Human Resources.
Shane Wilson returns to the helm of the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet team in 2017 after leading Brendan Gaughan to his career-first NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase berth, advancing to the Round of 8. Wilson and Gaughan have worked together on 11 separate occasions in four different NASCAR Series and are coming off their statistically strongest and most consistent season-to-date.
In 2016, the duo earned four top-five and 16 top-10 finishes, both career highs, concluding the season with a 12th-place finish in the driver championship point standings.
The South Royalton, Vermont, native started his extensive career in the racing industry in Vermont where he began building race cars before he was old enough to obtain a driver’s license. Wilson became the owner of a street stock car at the age of 17 and won a local touring division championship with driver Brian Kenyon in 1988. In 1989, he became a mechanic for Alsup Racing and driver Mike Bachelor in the American-Canadian Tour.
A motivated Wilson made the move to North Carolina in 1993 with Alsup Racing to focus on a career in the NASCAR All-Pro Series. He transitioned to Hendrick Motorsports, where he became the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship-winning crew chief in 1997 and 1999.
In 2000, Wilson ventured to the West Coast to take over the position of crew chief and general manager of Orleans Racing, where his career with Gaughan initially began. The team collected two NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championships in 2000 and 2001 and finished fourth in the 2003 Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings on the strength of six wins, three pole awards, 14 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes.
Following a three-year stint on the West Coast, Wilson returned to North Carolina in 2004 to join Team Penske as crew chief for the No. 77 NASCAR premiere series team with Gaughan behind the wheel. In 2005, Travis Kvapil took over driving duties for the No. 77 entry, with Wilson as crew chief, accumulating two top-10 finishes.
Wilson joined RCR as the crew chief of the No. 21 XFINITY Series entry and joined forces with driver Kevin Harvick in December. 2005. In 2006, Wilson led Harvick to RCR’s 10th NASCAR championship and third XFINITY Series title by a record margin of 824 points, on the strength of 10 wins, one pole award, 24 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes.
In 2007, as he continued to work with Harvick in the XFINITY Series, he captured a fourth-place finish in the championship owner standings by recording six wins, 13 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. In 2008 he took over as head of RCR’s testing program and worked with development drivers Austin Dillon and Stephen Leicht.
As Wilson continued to prove his skill set at RCR, he was promoted to crew chief for Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 premiere series team in 2009, leading them to four top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in his first year. The following season, he earned his first premiere series victory in September at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with Bowyer. Wilson led the No. 33 team to the Chase and finished 10th in the final 2010 premiere series point standings with two wins, seven top-five and 18 top-10 finishes.
Wilson guided Bowyer to one win, four top-five and 16 top-10 finishes in the 2011 premiere series season, finishing 13th in the championship point standings and capturing RCR’s 100th premiere series win at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2011 with Bowyer.
In 2012, Wilson was once again partnered with Harvick, taking over the reins of crew chief for the No. 29 premiere series team. Wilson also worked as interim crew chief for the No. 27 and No. 31 RCR teams during the later portion of the season.
The Vermont native was reunited with Gaughan in 2013 in the Camping World Truck Series, where they collected 10 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes en route to a seventh-place result in the driver championship point standings.
In 2014, the duo competed full-time in the XFINITY Series concluding the season eighth in the final point standings with Gaughan earning his first career XFINITY Series victory in 2014 at Road America. Under Wilson’s direction the South Point team followed that with an additional victory at Kentucky Motor Speedway in September.
In 2015, Wilson’s leadership resulted in three top-five and 14 top-10 finishes, resultant in a ninth-place finish in the XFINITY Series driver championship point standings.