Brendan Gaughan staying busy during semi-retirement from NASCAR

Updated June 7, 2018 - 12:35 pm

This wasn’t the way it was supposed to work.

When he announced he would be reducing his NASCAR schedule last year, Brendan Gaughan didn’t think it would result in him having less free time on his hands and, for that matter, other body parts.

“Busier than nonretirement,” the Las Vegas racer said about how semi-retirement has been treating him.

Somebody mentioned his hat, festooned with a City Lights Shine logo, Gaughan’s growing legal moonshine business.

“(Between) that one and New Wave Cleaning Solutions and Mesquite Gaming and trying to throw my dad out of the South Point, it’s been busy,” the 42-year-old son of South Point owner Michael Gaughan said about ventures off the track. “But I’ve got a couple of races coming up. My season gets busy here in a minute.”

Gaughan will be racing a Cup Series car at Daytona and Talladega for car owner Mark Beard and three Xfinity Series events on road circuits — Road America in Wisconsin, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the new roval circuit — half road course, half oval — at Charlotte Motor Speedway for former longtime employer Richard Childress Racing.

After running among the leaders at the Daytona 500 before being collected in a late-race pileup and at the spring race at Talladega, he’s ready to go restrictor-plate racing again.

“We blew a tire coming to the checkered flag at Talladega — man, that hurt,” Gaughan said after showing former hockey superstar Jeremy Roenick the fast way around Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a NASCAR Racing Experience car on Wednesday. “And then Daytona — I was a mile and a half from greatness, man. We were about to be top five, had a chance to win, and that’s all I can ask for.”

After stepping out of an Xfinity Series car sponsored by his dad so young lion Daniel Hemric could hone his skills, Gaughan said joining Mark Beard’s little team for big-track races could become a regular thing.

“I would love to do the Daytona 500, and I would love to drive for the Beards but it’s like my dad — they may want a younger, better-looking, skinnier guy at some point,” he said with his usual enthusiasm and self-deprecation.

Green, white checkered

— Noah Gragson, the NASCAR Truck Series driver from Las Vegas, spent last weekend with his fingers jammed into his ears as a guest of the Toyota-backed Kalitta Motorsports team at the JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals near Chicago: “That’s just insane,” Gragson said of experiencing high octane for the first time. “NHRA, these guys got it going on.”

— The rules package used at the recent NASCAR All-Star Race may be adopted at as many as three 2018 point races in an attempt to increase action on the track. The fall race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway won’t be one. Tracks under consideration include Indianapolis, Pocono and Michigan.

— Doug Hamm of North Las Vegas won a 35-lap NASCAR Modifieds race for his 50th career win at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway short track on Saturday. Hamm became the fifth driver in Bullring history to reach the 50-win plateau, joining Scott Gafforini (66), Phil Goodwin (58), Dustin Ash (56) and Justin Johnson (52). Next up: Chris Trickle Classic, June 16. Info: LVMS.com; 800-644-4444.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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