Brendan Gaughan impresses as NASCAR pit road reporter

He’s learning more every day about the legal moonshine business and the cleaning business and the hotel-casino management business up in Mesquite. But the business Brendan Gaughan still knows best is driving race cars really fast and talking about other guys who do.

So you knew his debut as an NBC pit road reporter for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway probably was going to be successful.

The guys who sign his paycheck said the glib Las Vegan pretty much lapped the field.

“Brendan was loose and fun,” said Jeff Behnke, NASCAR on NBC vice president of production. “His insight, experience as a driver and analysis from pit road was a great addition to our coverage. An important part of our job is to make people want to hang out with us, and Brendan’s camaraderie with all our announcers made for an enjoyable listen.”

Viewers were happy to go along for the ride.

“Kudos to whoever decided to put Brendan Gaughan on as a pit reporter,” wrote one, Bruce David, on his Twitter account. “Love it! NBC doing so many things right with motor sports …”

Once he put on a cap to keep the Iowa sun out of his eyes, Gaughan smoothly breezed through the gears without missing a shift in his first major NASCAR TV assignment.

“Things happened where I was able to predict a couple of things, so I made myself look good,” said the semiretired racer, who continues to drive in Cup Series restrictor-plate races for a small team headed by Michigan businessman Mark Beard.

Just before Justin Allgaier went to the high side on a late restart, Gaughan, speaking from having raced against him, told viewers that would probably happen. Same with the spot in Turn 4 that befuddled drivers and the timing of green-flag pit stops he had experienced as a competitor.

“It was like, ‘Hey, I know what I’m talking about,’ ” said Gaughan, who expects to return to pit road (or someplace similar) for another NASCAR assignment later this season.

Signature move

NASCAR Cup Series stars Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer will sign autographs before the Sept. 13 Star Nursery K&N Series West race at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway kicking off LVMS’ second NASCAR Weekend.

Harvick is one of three drivers, along with Las Vegan Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who have won almost all the races in NASCAR this season, except for maybe the two that Bowyer won.

Harvick and Bowyer will be signing stuff and posing for selfies from 6 to 7 p.m. inside the Dirt Track’s main gate. More drivers will be added in coming weeks.

Reichert wins at Laguna Seca

Henderson’s Jason Reichert started on the pole position and led every lap to top a 27-car field at a Pacific F2000 Series open-wheel race at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, California.

The victory enabled Reichert, locked in a three-way battle for the season championship, to open a 13-point lead atop the points standings.

VSiN goes racing

“Gone Racin’,” a show about auto racing featuring host Ron Flatter, Gaughan and Las Vegas Motor Speedway public relations director Jeff Motley, has debuted on the VSiN sports gambling network based at South Point.

The show airs from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday on SiriusXM 204 with live streaming and replays available at vsin.com.

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

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