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Gaughan’s final start becomes victim of crash

A multi-car accident on lap 108 prematurely ended Brendan Gaughan’s NASCAR career 81 laps early.

Photo by Erick Messer/TRE

45-year-old Brendan Gaughan was just 81 laps away from completing his NASCAR career on-track when a scary multi-car crash ended the days for many competitors, including Gaughan.

As the field of 36 cars drove through the tri-oval on lap 108, a 13-car crash broke out. Clint Bowyer bumped Jimmie Johnson, upsetting the No. 48 Chevrolet. Johnson’s car shot down into Kurt Busch, who was sent into the outside wall head-on, and launched over the top of Cole Custer.

On Sunday, he finished 35th after colliding with Kyle Busch, who swerved at the last minute to miss a spinning Jimmie Johnson.

Gaughan’s career in the NASCAR Cup Series unfortunately ended the same way it started — with a whimper. Gaughan failed to qualify for his two Cup Series attempts in 2001 and 2002 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and California Speedway.

Gaughan posted a career-best of fourth-place at Talladega Superspeedway in 2004 driving for Roger Penske.

Despite little success in the top division of American stock car racing, Gaughan notched a pair of NASCAR Xfinity Series victories. Those pair came at Road America and Kentucky Speedway in 2014.

Gaughan won eight times in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, and had led the 2003 series points entering the final race. An embarrassing crash caused by a championship threat’s teammate, eliminated Gaughan from the race and demoted him to fourth in the final standings.

Also, Gaughan won the 2000 and 2001 ARCA Menards Series West Championships (then, NASCAR Winston West).

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