MOORESVILLE, NC (February 5, 2010)—While some drivers — like RWR’s Steve Wallace (No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry)—warm up for the start of the NASCAR season by driving short track cars or go-karts, for Wallace’s teammate, Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota Camry), his preseason also sees him getting back to his roots — albeit in a different way.
Gaughan, a former off-road champion, will wheel Gaughan Racing’s South Point Hotel & Casino Class 1500 buggy (Car No. 1503) Saturday in the Parker 425, a BITD-sanctioned event held near Lake Havasu in the Arizona desert. Despite not having driven a Class 1500 buggy in over a year, Gaughan qualified a solid 15th of the over 80 vehicles to make a qualifying attempt.
Following his run in the desert on Saturday, Gaughan will head back to North Carolina to join his Brad Parrott-led No. 62 team in final preparations for the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener next weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
Noted Gaughan, "I really enjoy racing in the desert; it’s where I grew up and really learned to race; guys like Walker Evans taught me so much about racing in general. Any time I get the chance to get back in the dirt—or really, sand—it’s always a lot of fun.
"With that said, my real priority is getting ready for our Nationwide Series race next weekend at Daytona. It’s our biggest race of the year and it’d be awesome if we could go down there and compete for the win. With all of the major upgrades that we’ve made at Rusty Wallace Racing in the off-season, we’re heading down there really feeling that we’re going to do exactly that."
Fans can follow Gaughan in the Parker 425—his final preseason warm-up before Daytona—by visiting www.ionearth.com and www.bitd.com.