Tuesday, Dec 05

Pit Note #6: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race

Friday, May 17 1522


BRENDAN GAUGHAN (SECOND PLACE, No. 62 South Point Chevrolet): “(Gesturing to the name plate in front of him) First, I’m glad to know they still make these with my name on ‘em. It’s been a decade since I’ve been able to see one. You know, we did not have the textbook night. This is Charlotte. It’s a 3- 4- wide race track. Qualifying 23rd did not scare us at all; of course, I’d like to qualify better than 23rd. I’ve got to work on that. But the high groove that I like to run doesn’t usually lend itself to a great qualifying run. At the start of the race, we went for it; everything was going good. (Crew chief) Shane (Wilson) did a strategy move; we off-pitted everybody, and it looked like it was gonna work great. We came in, we got a green-flag stop, and I think we were within one lap of lapping the whole field. And I think the 18 broke something and gave everyone else the caution. So then it was kind of a work-for-it night. We thought we had a problem with about 30 to go, came in to check our Chevrolet; the boys said it checked out fine, so I believed my boys, and in the end I was catching Kyle (Busch). That’s why he’s Kyle Busch. He knows I like the high side, he knows these trucks all have an aero push, so he moved up to my groove for one corner of one lap and took the air off of my nose and just killed my momentum enough that I was only gaining on him again at the end. So great job by him. To come home second, this is our third top-5 in a row now, so I’m happy as I’ve been in a decade.

(Is that what you expected Kyle to do?) Stevie Reeves is my spotter, and Stevie Reeves is truly a veteran spotter. We all knew he was gonna do it because he did it earlier. He knows he’s gonna do it, and I know he’s gonna do it, but I just didn’t think he’d do it at that point, so I wasn’t ready for it. And that’s a little bit of rust on me, so to speak. I haven’t been in that position lately. So the rust is knocked off, and I will remember next time, and I’ll make sure when he goes to do that move, I go to the bottom to keep air on mine and try to keep gaining.

(You said you were mad as hell when you got on the truck; can you elaborate on that?) It feels great to be mad as hell. For the last eight years, I mean… you look at Kevin Harvick get out of the race car pissed off because he finished second, and I’m thinking I’d give anything to get a second place finish right now. But when you’re driving Chevrolets that are this good, you can be mad, because I had a truck that was gaining on Kyle Busch. And if I were a little more on my game when he goes to take my air, and I go to the bottom and I continue to gain on him and make a race out of it … that’s what I was mad about. I do know how to do these things. It’s been a while since I’ve done ‘em, but it feels good to be mad about second place.”

MAX GRESHAM (THIRD PLACE, NO. 8 AMWINS CHEVROLET): “We couldn’t be any happier with how tonight went. It was a great run for us to night. We started off kind of far in the back and worked our way forward, and that last pit stop really just came to life. It was kind of humming there at the end. This is justification for us that we’re going in the right direction, getting better every week. That’s all we can ask for. We had a lot of close calls there at the end. It seemed like on all the last restarts we were on the outside, which was hectic.”



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