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Blown tire not letting air out of Gaughan’s hopes in Newton

Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 10:17 a.m. CDT

Brendan Gaughan wants to see his recent history of short-lived success at Iowa Speedway turn into a complete racing effort this weekend.

Gaughan finished 12th in the Get To Know Newton 250 on May 18, but was running in the top five until a tire failure slashed his chances at a top finish.

“We were running third and blew a tire. We ended up going down a lap, having to go back to the lead lap and then 12 was all we could get back to after that,” the 39-year-old driver said. “We were really good here in the spring race, so I’m looking forward to the summer race.”

Gaughan enters Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250 eighth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series points standings.

Since the series’ last race in Newton, Gaughan has recorded his first career Nationwide victory. The Las Vegas native won a wet and wild race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on June 21 during which he overcame a broken windshield wiper to win in the rain.

“It definitely felt good to finally cross that finish line and see that checkered flag for you,” the driver of the No. 62 Chevrolet said. “We did it the hard way. We went from the back, we basically just had to kick everybody’s butt in the rain and we did it. It sucked the way we had to do it because I screwed up so many times, but it was so much fun to prove we could still drive race cars that fast.”

The win was the first in 98 career races for Gaughan, who is currently in his third full season on the Nationwide Series.

Gaughan spent his first two full seasons — 2009 and 2010 — racing for team owner Rusty Wallace, the designer of Iowa Speedway.

Gaughan, who now drives for Richard Childress Racing, mentioned his connection with Wallace during an event in Grimes on July 22 promoting this weekend’s race, as well as his confidence in improving upon his 12th-place finish, which was his best in five races in Newton.

“Our team is way better than we were in the spring race (at Iowa Speedway),” Gaughan said. “Richard Childress and our Chevrolets have put a lot of emphasis on new motor packages, new chassis, new bodies, so we’re coming here even better than we were, and we were really good in that first race.” 

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