Here’s part two of our series with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver, Brendan Gaughan. Gaughan is the driver of the No. 62 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing and is moving to the NASCAR Nationwide Series on a full-time basis in 2014.
What has Richard Childress personally told you to help rejuvenate your career?
“It’s not anything that he had to sit there and tell me, it’s what he gives me. The equipment he gives me, the ability to have a great race team every week, the ability to have a great pit crew every week. If you saw Texas, you saw that our pit crew was like a Sprint Cup Series pit crew out there. We kicked some butt. So, it’s not what he has to say, it’s what he gives me on a daily and weekly basis in racing. It’s the best people and the best equipment.”
Last year, the team enabled you to run 10 races in the Nationwide Series plus a few Sprint Cup Series races. What did that do for you on a personal level?
“Last year I think we ran ten races in Nationwide and four in Cup. The reason that I raced was because they were locked in for the first five races, so it worked out that I got a chance to drive them. What was nice about it was by the last Sprint Cup race, I was finally getting up to speed. It made me feel good as a driver that I haven’t forgotten how to do this and I was able to gain some confidence from that. In the Nationwide stuff, working with Ernie Cope all last year, I learned that he was a very difficult crew chief. It was fun because Ernie expected a lot, and I was able to deliver for him on a weekly basis.”
Next year, you will be returning to the NASCAR Nationwide Series for a full season for the first time since driving for Rusty Wallace Incorporated in 2010. What does this opportunity mean to you?
“Rusty Wallace was my teammate in 2004 and there were two good things about that year. One was working with the Jasper Transmission folks who were some of the greatest people that I’ve met. The other was Rusty Wallace. Driving for him in 2009 and 2010, that might have been one of the hardest working groups that I’ve ever been around. We didn’t have the equipment that Richard (Childress) has; we didn’t have all of the engineering and top-notch stuff that Richard has.”
“Rusty Wallace made his guys work hard and strive for the best they can get out there. What’s going to be neat about next year is, we have all the stuff that Rusty had which is the respect of the people and the engineering, top-notch pit crews and people to put me to that next level. It’s going to be great. But, at the same time, I’m going to want to give Rusty a hug and say thank you for believing in me and giving me the ability to even continue to do my job.”
Has Rusty given you any personal advice about how to move on after you left his team?
“Rusty and I have been friends for a long time, and the one good thing about me is I have my college degree. I do a lot of things to make sure that after racing I’ll be successful. That’s one thing that Rusty and I had in common, was that we both had goals of what we wanted to do once we retired. Until that day, you don’t think about it, all you do is drive as hard as you can.”
Though you haven’t won a race in 10 years, why do you feel you deserve the chance to race for a top quality organization such as RCR?
“I’m just thankful. I don’t questions whys or hows, I just know that I appreciate what Richard has given me. My performance on the track this year (and last year) has at least proven that I can be up front every week and I can go win races in this series and that series (Nationwide). That’s what I’m thankful for. If I can’t win races, I don’t want to be here. We should have won two or three this year, and we will win one. We will go out there and win races next year.”