At the age of 26, this top-ranked Las Vegas native has made an impressive transition from the world of high-powered off-road truck racing into the arena of high-speed stock car competition.
Earning the 2002 NASCAR Winston West Series Championship, Gaughan and Orleans Racing returned last season to defend their title, plus added selected NASCARCraftsmanevents to their schedule. "Our plan was to take home a second Winston West crown," explains the popular Las Vegas resident, "and we did just that. The second part of our plan was to gain as much experience in the truck series as possible. And, again, we were able to accomplish our goal."
Leaving no doubt to his skill on the track, Gaughan definitely showed his prowess in the Craftsman Truck Series, scoring a third at Mesa Marin in Bakersfield, Calif., and a second at Texas Motor Speedway.
"I started racing in trucks," smiles Gaughan. "I really feel at home behind the wheel and better yet, they are really fun to drive. The Craftsman Truck Series offers incredible competition and I couldn't be happier to be in the Series full time. There are some great drivers and the racing is aggressive. In short, it is a terrific series for both drivers and fans."
Gaughan, son of Las Vegas hotel and casino magnate Michael Gaughan and the grandson of local gaming pioneer Jackie Gaughan, discovered his passion for racing at a young age. "My dad used to take me out to the desert races with him, and that's where it all began," said Gaughan.
From desert buggies to full-sized trucks, Gaughan's off-road career boasts five championship titles and a wealth of knowledge. A lengthy union with the Walker Evans Racing (1992 - 1999) groomed him to make the full time transition from high-powered off-road truck racing into the arena of high-speed stock car racing.
"When I first got involved in off-road racing, I didn't even have a driver's license," said Gaughan. "I had to be driven out to the race track! I think my dad finally took me seriously when I won that first desert race, and he's been very supportive ever since."
A graduate of Georgetown University with a degree in business management, Gaughan has shown that his athletic talents extend beyond the track to the basketball court and the football field.
During his tenure at the university, he was a member of the Georgetown Men's Basketball team under well-known coach, John Thompson. The team won two Big East regular season championships, participated in four NCAA tournaments, and even competed in the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight.
Gaughan was also a member of the Georgetown Men's Football team that participates in the NCAA Division IAA level where he earned All-Conference honors.
In addition to his current focus on the Craftsman Truck Series, Gaughan is an instructor for the Richard Petty Driving Experience at his home track, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He is also keeping busy learning the many facets of the family's hotel and casino operations.
"I've been working in the business since I was 13 years old," explained Gaughan. "So far, my duties have included just about everything from bussing tables to dealing cards. My goals are to be successful in both my business career and my racing career."
2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race Results
2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Results
Click photos below to enlarge
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