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Inside The Hauler With Brendan Gaughan
- Updated: September 30, 2016
Personalities are plentiful in NASCAR. Some wear the black hat and let that dark personality reign supreme, some are the good guys and draw a love for the white hat, and some just walk around with a vanilla ice cream cone.
One driver that is without question the farthest thing from vanilla is the driver of the number 62 South Point Hotel and Casino Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, Brendan Gaughan. This is a driver that makes it a point to have fun every chance he gets. Brendan has been known by many over his time after interviews on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio with MRN Radio host Dave Moody as “Uncle Brenny”, a name he said he received from his niece. Well, Gaughan seems like that “unique” uncle that shows up to the family reunion and is a clown without the make-up–entertaining the masses.
At Kentucky this past week Brendan took some time out share some stories and have a few laughs, at the expense of this team…always having fun.
When we walked in to the hauler a couple of his team guys were standing around and what does Brendan do, not what many drivers do, just walk by and acknowledge them, no he’s “twisting” them up, literally grabbing at the chest for a “purple nurple” you all probably know it better as “Titty Twister”. Not something you’re likely going to see in the hauler of Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson.
Brendan said we’re always keeping light, having fun is what we do at the race track.
Once the antics were done…for that moment we got to talking a little about racing and the weekend at hand. Kentucky was kicking off the inaugural Xfinity Chase For The Championship and I would have thought there might have been some nerves, but for the veteran driver that has
“been around for a while”, which got a little chuckle as I basically call him old. “There really weren’t any nerves, this is fun and I love what I do, You’re only nervous if you’re not prepared and I come with RCR so you’re always prepared.” he said
We were talking prior to qualifying and as he talked about how prepared and good the cars are that RCR is giving him week in and out he also joked saying the cars are more prepared than the driver. “During practice I actually called myself a few choice words because I knew the car was good but I went in to the corner and my brain said keep your foot in, but I breathed it about 5 percent because the body wouldn’t listen, so I had a few “special” words for myself.
After this interview Brendan would go on to qualify 7th and even bounce off the wall a couple times in the race to come home 6th, a good start to the Xfinity Chase.
Gaughan is one of a handful of Xfinity chasers that are considered favorites for this title and it’s an opportunity he knows he has to capitalize on. In fact he says “we know we’re getting close to the end of what we want to do” when asked about where his career is.
Brendan is lucky to have his dad as the man that makes his career going, not only as being the guy that writes the checks to put South Point on the RCR Chevy, but as Brendan says they love to race and he will always do something even when his career is over, “We love to race, in fact my dad still races to this day. We still run together down in Mexico. So you can expect the conversations to continue between father and son, driver and sponsor and friends. As Brendan says when it comes to those conversations, “See the moon? It’s high in the sky baby.”
So it doesn’t seem to matter what the future holds, he certainly is focused on the now and he adds we’re having fun and I’d certainly like to give it one more run, we think, and i’d really like to bring home this championship or at least make it to Homestead and keep it going on a good note.
Could we see a “walk-off win” for Brendan Gaughan, it would certainly give his fans a lot to cheer for.
Speaking of those fans, outside of the “Earnhardt Nation” there may not be any more eccentric and colorful fans than those that back the driver of the number 62. From tattoos of Brendan in victory lane to shirts that say “Always be yourself, unless you can be Brendan Gaughan…Then be Brendan Gaughan.
This sport has some of the best fans, sometimes they may go over the top, but as Brendan says “It’s all about the fans, that’s what made Richard Petty Famous, Buck Baker famous and all the guys that made this sport great, it’s the fans.” We all know the saying if they’re not here, we’re not here, Gaughan goes on to say “It’s not just about what we do on the track, it’s what we did on the track and what we do for the fans.” Brendan is certainly one of those that will always take extra time to share with his fans, even those that ask to autograph a body part so the fan can have it tattooed over. Gaughan said that this is what makes NASCAR so much more special than an NFL, NBA or Major League Baseball is this sport is still about the fans. One of the leaders of Brendan’s fan base is Raeann Plumley who has followed Brendan from the start, she is certainly one of those that you would call “fanatic”. she says all her tattoo’s tell a story, especially the ones of her fandom for Gaughan. You can almost certainly find Raeann at the RCR shop, often fattening up the crew guys with her home made baked goods.
For Brendan he loves the intensity his fans have and said in regards to Raeann,
“We definitely have our share of…I have to be polite and make sure I don’t offend the said Raeann, There are more than one Raeann out there, but there is definitely no one else that special.”
The fans know every aspect of their driver, they follow all his stories and support Brendan through all of the ups and downs and that dedication may pay off with an Xfinity Championship, he would certainly like to give that to his dedicated fans.
As we got ready to wrap up our time together this week, a reporter always has that one question in the bag that may catch their subject off guard. Brendan is familiar with world travel and amazing gourmet cuisine, but when at home, who is the better cook? Him or his wife Tatum? Oh, I’m sorry he says, My wife is not very good. I’m the better cook, i’ve worked in the kitchens, I love to cook.” He adds that he doesn’t do it as much as often, maybe a championship and retirement would open up Gaughan kitchen for him to enjoy another skill again, but he said honestly the best cook is his sister-in-law, Tatum’s twin sister is much better and certainly the best of all three of us.
So maybe once he finds that career end that he and his dad “debate” about on an annual basis, one day you go to one of the stellar restaurants that occupy space in the world famous South Point Hotel and Casino, you’ll have your meal prepared by Brendan Gaughan one day, but before that ever becomes a possibility, a race at Dover this week where he hopes for some better luck, in 9 Xfinity Series starts at the Monster Mile, a lone top 10 graces the record book and an average finish of 15th. A good place see if lady luck is on his side.