Richard Childress Racing
May 12, 2012
Brendan Gaughan Collects Late-Race "Darlington Stripe" and Finishes 26th at Darlington Raceway
"We had a good car in practice, qualified well and ran well for the majority of the race, but I just wish I could have gotten a better finish for the team."
Start - 11
Finish - 26
Laps Led - 1
Owner's Points - 5
Brendan Gaughan was running fifth in the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 Friday night when he collected a "Darlington Stripe" late in the race by brushing the outside backstretch wall and cut a tire on the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet, relegating the team to a 26th-place finish at Darlington Raceway. The Las Vegas native started the 147-lap race from the 11th position and remained in the top 15 despite battling a loose-handling condition. Gaughan worked his way up to the 10th position when the caution flag waved for a third time on lap 128. During the caution, crew chief Ernie Cope instructed Gaughan on pit road for two right-side tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. A speedy pit stop by the No.33 pit crew placed Gaughan back on track in the sixth position for the lap 132 restart. As green-flag racing resumed, Gaughan had moved to the fifth position when the No. 33 Chevrolet got too close to the outside wall on the backstretch, earning the 36-year-old driver a famed "Darlington Stripe". The impact with the wall cut the right front tire and caused damage to the rotor on the No. 33 machine. The damage from the incident at the track deemed "Too Tough To Tame" was too substantial for Gaughan to continue to race, relegating the team to a 26th-place finish. The late-race incident dropped the No. 33 team one position to fifth in the Nationwide Series owner's championship point standings.
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:
"What a tough way to end the day. Ernie (Cope) and the crew did a great job preparing the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet for this race. This was my first race back in the car in five weeks, and I didn't want to push it too much. We had a good car in practice, qualified well and ran well for the majority of the race, but I just wish I could have gotten a better finish for the team. I'll be back in the car next weekend in Iowa, so I'm shifting my focus to that event and hoping for a stronger finish during the next race."