If they’re still not watching soccer on TV at Brendan’s Irish Pub at the South Point, they’re probably singing and drinking beer anyway, following Brendan Gaughan’s long-awaited victory in Saturday’s rainy NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America in Wisconsin.
It was the first Nationwide win for the 38-year-old Gaughan in 98 starts.
Flying the South Point hotel-casino colors on his No. 62 Chevrolet Camaro, Gaughan assumed the lead when IndyCar veteran and fellow Las Vegas resident Alex Tagliani ran out of gas during the final round of pit stops after another Las Vegas driver, Dylan Kwasniewski, spun out.
Chase Elliott passed Gaughan on the green-white-checker restart before Gaughan passed the 18-year-old driver right back and pulled away on the final lap.
Gaughan led eight of 54 laps on the slick Road America road course but raced without a wiper blade. Tagliani charged back from 22nd position on the last restart to finish second.
“I love racing in the rain,” Gaughan said despite sliding off the slippery track twice. “It’s fun. And when you’re good at it, it makes it even more fun.
“I haven’t smelled blood in a long time. That’s been something I’ve been lacking lately is that killer attitude. When it started to rain, even without the wiper blade, I started to smell blood and said, ‘I’m coming.’ “