WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Despite being in the midst of a 58-race winless drought and numerous reports on the subject, retirement is the furthest thing from Brendan Gaughan’s mind.
In fact, the NASCAR XFINITY Series veteran is focused forward on the remainder of this season and moving into contention for a breakthrough championship — not just for himself, but for his No. 62 South Point Chevrolet team as well.
Gaughan, a 40-year-old veteran in the sport, last won during the 2014 VistMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway. That a statistic he hopes to change going into the series’ late summer stretch, which includes the challenge of three road course races.
“Nothing has been real bad, but nothing has been real great this season either,” Gaughan said to Race Chaser Online earlier this week. “Richard Childress Racing has showed great speed at times. All three of our Chevrolets are practically the same. We are definitely looking forward to this next few months — these next few races all put a smile on my face.”
Hailing from Las Vegas, road course events have always been a niche for Gaughan, who grew up turning left and right. In fact, he recorded his first-career win in the XFINITY Series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course two years ago.
“I have been road racing for so long,” Gaughan explained. “It is what I grew up doing. I do love road racing and we have some great road courses in the XFINITY Series. I feel like we have much better road course events then the Sprint Cup Series does.”
“The next five races, to me, are some of the most spectacular in our sport. We’ve got some amazing road courses, then Bristol Motor Speedway and we end (the summer swing) at Darlington Raceway.”
With Gaughan bringing renewed confidence into the next five races, he adds that a win would not just hand him a third trophy in the XFINITY Series, but would also grant him a position on the inaugural Chase Grid for NASCAR’s second-highest division.
Through 19 races, Gaughan is sixth in the championship points entering the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, sitting 158 points ahead of the cut-off position. He adds that the Chase has allowed his team to alter their usual strategy and be more gutsy during race weekends.
“This Chase format has definitely changed how we race,” Gaughan said. “We now can take more chances, but it also pumps the teams up more. Before, when someone was 60 points from the lead with 10 races to go, they were out of the championship battle. There is not a lot more someone can do at that point.”
“So now, we know that we get a reset button. I am ecstatic that we have this Chase format in the XFINITY Series.”
As for retirement, Gaughan admitted that he has thought about hanging up the helmet, as far back as the 2008 season when he was competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
However, as long as he is competing for wins and top five finishes, the Las Vegas native expects to remain in his Richard Childress Racing seat.
“We have talked about [retiring],” Gaughan said. “In fact, we have talked about retirement every season since 2008. It is a subject that I have never shied away from. As long as I am able to run up front and win races, then I want to continue racing.”
“Right now, we are doing alright, but not as well as I think we should. Regardless of that, though, I want to be back, and Richard wants us back if there’s a way to make it happen … so that’s what we’re working towards.”
“If I were to stop racing tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I’ve done a lot in my career that I’m proud of. Hopefully there’s more time to add to that. We’re just in the wait-and-see stage of things right now and that’s okay..”
About the Writer
Marshall Gabell is the Mid-Atlantic Correspondent for Race Chaser Online, and handles public relations needs in multiple outlets of motorsports, including for tracks and drivers. Gabell is currently attending Stephen Decatur High School in Ocean City, Maryland, completing his junior year. He is just 16 years old.
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