Here’s part six 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.
A lot of people know that you were a walk-on for the Georgetown Hoyas‘ basketball team, but not many people know that you were a kicker for the football team as well. What was your favorite part about being an active participant in college sports?
“It was one of the greatest times of my life. I once had a really stupid reporter that I wish I could name him but I won’t, ask me if I wasted four years of my life going to college. I looked at him kind of cross-eyed and I wanted to smack him upside the head. It was one of the dumbest things I ever heard. You hear all these people telling kids to stay in school to get an education, and you have this guy asking me if I wasted my life going to college. I was an All-Conference football player, I played in three NCAA tournaments, I played in an Elite Eight game and the Sweet 16. I played college basketball — for god’s sake, I’m 5-foot-9 and I can’t shoot or dribble, yet I played on the basketball team. I had a phenomenal time in life. I enjoy every second of what I do. I realized what was going to be the future for me, and what it takes to be a role player and make a team successful. You always have to give respect to every individual guy on the team for what they do. It taught me stuff in life that I still use today.”
From those experiences, what have you carried over to NASCAR?
“Well, every bit of it. The way that I act with my guys on pit road, the way I act with the guys at the shop, and more is how I learned to go about the whole team aspect. Every night we’re on the road, I offer to take my boys to a team dinner, just like what every athletic team does. If you take care of your boys, they’ll take care of you back.”
Walking into Daytona in February, what are your realistic expectations working with RCR in the Nationwide Series for the first full-time season since 2010?
“We’re going to run for the championship. Right now Austin Dillon is leading the championship and Brian Scott is in the top-10, the No. 33 car is in the top-10 and there is no reason why I shouldn’t go out there and contend to win some races. Ty Dillon and I, we’re coming from the Trucks to the Nationwide cars, and we’re going to try and one up each other every week and win some races.”
After losing the 2003 Camping World Truck Series title by getting wrecked in what may have been one of the most controversial incidents in the history of that series, how have you moved on from it?
“Well, the good news is I don’t remember it. I got hit so hard that I don’t remember it, which is kind of a positive thing. That’s why we race until the checkered flag of the last race. They don’t give out championship trophies at Phoenix, you have to race all the way until the end.”