Gaughan Takes Playoff Hit at Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. — While Brendan Gaughan still occupies a playoff spot with two races remaining in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series regular season, his late wreck in the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway did him no favors.

Gaughan was part of a three-wide row of cars exiting Turn 4 with 17 laps to go with him up against the wall, Jeb Burton driving the 24 car in the middle and Garrett Smithley on the bottom. Something broke on the right-front of Burton’s car (evidenced by the fire that broke out in the wheel well a few minutes later), leading to him drifting up into the left-rear of Gaughan. Burton hit and sent him spinning backward into the wall, making contact with his right-rear corner.

He then comes down and makes contact with Ray Black Jr. Moments later, his left-rear tire goes flat and he spins up towards the wall. He makes slight contact with the wall again, with his front bumper, before doing a full 360° spin, coming to a stop and pulling down onto the apron.

Gaughan finished the race 30th, and he wasn’t happy with Burton after what transpired.

“We had a decent South Point Chevy. We were gonna sit there in the top-14, top-12 for the most part, and then we have the loose wheel. It’s just racing man. That happens. But two weeks in a row. I know he don’t have many races and I like him a lot normally, but right now, I’m gonna knock the hell out of him. The first time, he gave me a flat. The second time, he says he blew a tire, but if you know you got a tire blowing, don’t drive underneath somebody.”

Burton later responded, saying he never meant “to get into him” and that he “just got tight.”

Gaughan leaves Bristol 12th in points, maintaining a 43-point edge over Ross Chastain for the final playoff spot.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."


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