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Brendan Gaughan will be part-time in NASCAR next season


Brendan Gaughan‘s career as a full-time NASCAR driver has come to an end after the conclusion of the 2017 Xfinity season.

But the 42-year-old veteran isn’t done with NASCAR.

Gaughan told some of his career plans prior to Saturday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, his last race in Richard Childress Racing’s No. 62 Chevrolet.

Those plans include a second season of competing in the four Cup restrictor-plate races next season for Beard Motorsports. He earned a top 10 in the July Daytona race this year, his first in Cup since 2004.

Gaughan said he could run in some road course races as well as some “here or there things.”

“I am very happy with going back to a part-time NASCAR role,” Gaughan said. “This has been 20 years of my life – it’s a lot work and it’s a lot of effort and it’s been a great 20 years. … It’s been a hell of a ride but I’m at the point now where I’m happy. I really wanted to get a win this year and that kind of stinks that we didn’t.”

Gaughan piloted the No. 62 for RCR the last four seasons, earning two victories in 2014 and making the playoffs this season. He was eliminated after the first round.

The No. 62 was one of five full-time cars RCR fielded in the Xfinity Series this season. Gaughan finished 10th in the standings with two top fives and eight top 10s.

The end of his season was marked by an altercation between Gaughan, Ross Chastain and both driver’s crews after the race at Texas Motor Speedway. 

Gaughan, a former basketball player at Georgetown University, has competed in all three of NASCAR’s national series since debuting in the Camping World Truck Series in 1997.

He earned eight victories in a Truck in 217 starts.

His four Cup starts next season will bring his career total to 58. His only full-time Cup year was 2004 when he drove the No. 77 co-owned by Roger Penske and finished 24th in the standings.

“Every year I almost retire,” Gaughan told NBC Sports in 2016. “But it’s always been the same strategy in my eyes. If I can’t win races, I don’t want to be here.”

The Las Vegas native also has multiple business ventures and a family with two young sons to take care of.

“I don’t want to be one of those racers from the ’70s and ’80s where (their kids) said they never saw their dad,” Gaughan said.

NASCAR America: Steve Letarte: Denny Hamlin showing ‘remarkable consistency’

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Things have been going relatively well for Denny Hamlin on the track in 2018.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver enters this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway sixth in points. Through five races, he’s finished outside the top six once (17th, Las Vegas).

NASCAR America’s Steve Letarte, Dale Jarrett and Nate Ryan discussed his season so far in addition to Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.

Letarte said Hamlin has displayed “remarkable consistency.”

“Denny Hamlin is in my mind a super star driver that I know I am guilty of leaving him out of super star conversations,” Letarte said.

Ryan pointed to mistakes on pit road that have prevented Hamlin from enjoying more success this season and in his career overall. His result at Las Vegas was the result of a speeding penalty.

“Five races this season, four pit mistakes,” Ryan said. “He overshot his box at Daytona, he did that at Fontana, he sped in the pits at Phoenix. While I think they’ve had speed, I think that team is still stumbling in the same ways it has in the past. Unless they correct that, I don’t know if they’re championship level yet.”

Hamlin heads to Martinsville where he has won a career-best five races.

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Trevor Bayne on Charlotte Roval: ‘You have to be on your game’

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Rain washed out the second day of Goodyear tire testing Wednesday on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval. Goodyear has tentatively scheduled May 1 as a make-up test date.

Trevor Bayne, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and Kyle Larson took part in the test Tuesday.

“I just took some slow pace laps and got a feel for the race track,” Bayne said in a statement from Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I was nervous, but I wasn’t anxious because I was never going to go out there and make qualifying laps. We worked our pace in and our plan, we stuck to it. I felt really good by the end of the day.

“You have to be on your game, that’s for sure. You can’t really let your guard down anywhere. There’s no room to make mistakes. If you make a mistake, you’re going to pay for it pretty quickly. If you try to do something and it doesn’t work, you’ll pay the price. It’s going to be a survival race. … If you’re smart, you take care of your car and you don’t make mistakes, you’ll have a really good shot at the end for a good finish. I enjoyed it. It was a challenge for me – something new – and I enjoyed that part of it.”

Organizational tests at Charlotte will be in July. There will be two different sessions. Each team is allowed to test at one of the two sessions, which will be July 10 (rain date of July 11) and July 17 (rain date of July 18).

The Charlotte Roval hosts the final race of the first round of the Cup playoffs on Sept. 30 on NBC.

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NASCAR issues two fines for unsecured lug nuts at Auto Club Speedway

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NASCAR announced two crew chief fines for unsecured lug nuts last weekend at Auto Club Speedway.

Adam Stevens, crew chief on Kyle Busch‘s No. 18 Toyota, was fined $10,000 for one unsecured lug nut.

In the Xfinity Series, Eric Phillips, the crew chief for Ryan Preece‘s No. 18 Toyota, was fined $5,000 for an unsecured lug nut.

No other penalties were announced.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Drivers to watch, favorite sports upsets

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and begins to look forward to this weekend’s racing at Martinsville Speedway.

Marty Snider hosts with Dale Jarrett, Steve Letarte and Nate Ryan from the “Big Oak Table” in Charlotte.

What to expect from today’s show.

  • The same names have been dominating the headlines in the first five races in the 2018 season. We will take a look at some of the other drivers to be on the lookout for as the season rolls on.
  • One of NASCAR’s most historic tracks is up this weekend – Martinsville! We’ll check out some of the recent drama “The Paperclip” has provided ahead of the race.
  • In the spirit of March Madness, our panel will tell us about their most memorable sports moments, as well as some of NASCAR’s biggest upsets.
  • Plus, The Indianapolis 500 will have a new home in 2019. We’ll have all the details on NASCAR America.

If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.