Brendan Gaughan called his airborne ride at Talladega an “easy rollover” that wasn’t anything “gigantic.”
Gaughan went for a wild ride on Lap 183 after Kyle Busch was turned into the left rear of his Chevrolet. Spinning to the inside, in front of the field as Gaughan was on the outside of a three-wide battle for the lead, he hit Ricky Stenhouse Jr. before being hit by both Kurt Busch and Matt DiBenedetto to send him flipping once and landing back on his wheels.
“I’ve said for a long time, I’ve flipped probably more cars than most people – that’s what we do in the desert – and flipping doesn’t hurt,” said Gaughan. “That’s what people have to understand. NASCAR does a great job. We’re in there safe. But when you flip, you just slow down. You never hit a wall. I’d rather do that than hit a wall any day of the week, I promise.
“But it was an easy one. Thank you Brad (Keselowski) for pushing me to the lead; I was having a great time. Our Chevrolet was fast; we were up front. I show up four times a year, and people think I’m crazy for loving this racing, but I love racing at Daytona and Talladega. I enjoy the crap out of this and when I come with the Beard family with that Chevrolet that they give me, with the ECR engine that Richard (Childress) gives me, we come for the win. … We had a chance to win, that’s all I can ask for. It is what it is.”
Gaughan said Monday was the first time he had flipped a stock car. Talladega was his fourth and final race of the season as Gaughan and the No. 62 Beard Motorsports team competes only in the superspeedway races.
In all, 11 drivers were collected in the accident. There were no injuries.
To be in contention for the win would have capped off a day of recovery for Gaughan and his team. He qualified 28th and was busted for speeding in Stage 2. When he was caught speeding during his pass-through penalty, Gaughan had to come back down pit road a third time and serve a stop-and-go penalty.
When the accident occurred, Gaughan was ahead of the field with the lead. And upon landing back on all four wheels and letting his team know he was fine, Gaughan became very animated on the radio about being in the position he was in and how great the car had been performing.
“The car was great,” he said. “Look, we come four races. We come with a team that has two freaking race cars, and I’m kicking their butt out there running up front. Brad (Keselowski) pushing me. How could I be upset about this? This is absolutely what I come here to do, is try to go win a race, and we had a chance. It’s just, Stenhouse. Eh. Go figure.”
Gaughan was on the outside lane with Kyle Busch being pushed in the middle by older brother Kurt Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the bottom. Kyle Busch said he was turned sideways from those pushing behind, to start the accident.