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Brendan Gaughan joins father in West Coast stock car shrine

Anything you can do, I can do … just as well.

Five years after his father, Michael, was inducted into the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame, Brendan Gaughan entered the same shrine on Thursday night.

The son said it was quite an honor. Even if his old man beat him to it.

“You know Michael Gaughan as well as I do. His big loving, caring and sharing, compassionate way to say ‘congratulations, son’ was ‘I’m already in that one,’ ” said the affable and self-deprecating former NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series competitor about his father’s feigned indifference to the news.

As owner of the South Point, Michael Gaughan, a former off-road racer, was instrumental in bringing a second NASCAR Cup race to Las Vegas that bears the hotel-casino’s name.

Brendan Gaughan won eight races in the NASCAR trucks and two in the Xfinity Series en route to the marquee Cup division. He drove in 67 races at NASCAR’s highest level, posted eight top-10 finishes and almost always got the most out of his equipment.

“I was honored I even made the ballot, and to make it the first year was something I definitely didn’t expect,” Brendan Gaughan said.

The 46-year-old racer, who continues to compete in off-road events that helped launch his career, was feted along with fellow former Cup series regular Greg Biffle and a host of other West Coast-based racers.

Around the horn

— Based on the number of emails I have received from long forgotten second cousins asking about tickets, next year’s Formula One race up and down the Strip is destined to become more popular than former three-time world driving champion’s Sir Jackie Stewart’s shaggy sideburns back in the day.

But a contrarian has emerged in regard to the globe-trotting auto racing circuit returning to Las Vegas for the first time since two races were run at Caesars Palace in the early 1980s.

“I’ve already been there, and I didn’t like it very much,” said four-time series champion Sebastian Vettel, who is winding down his F1 career with the backmarker Aston Martin team and was campaigning for a race at the Bathurst circuit in Australia.

“I think it’s too crowded, and people misbehave. There is nothing against bad behavior, as long as you don’t overdo it. (But) Las Vegas seems to be a hot spot for people who go too far when it’s no longer fun.”

— Bishop Gorman’s Zachariah Branch has been named the No. 1 wide receiver prospect in the nation by MaxPreps.

A video on the MaxPreps website proclaimed the 2023 Southern California commit “the No. 1 get your popcorn ready dude in high school football,” which, I’m told, is a good thing.

Branch caught passes totaling more than 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior. MaxPreps also called him the most dynamic punt returner in the country, comparing him to fellow electrifier Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins.

— A tip of the megaphone to singer and dance choreographer Toni Basil, who after 40 years of trying finally has been awarded the copyright to “Mickey,” her infectious one-hit wonder anthem of 1981.

The former Las Vegas High cheerleader will be 79 in September. She looks as if she could still fit into her old Wildcats cheerleading uniform that she wore in the MTV music video when she was 38 and MTV still showed music videos.


A NFT — nonfungible token — curated by rapper, media personality and former USC practice football player Snoop Dog purchased in April for $32,000 in cryptocurrency ether recently was put up for auction with an asking price of $25.5 million. The early high bid was 0.0743 ether — about $210.

Wrote a social media user calling himself Bloatee:

“Reminds me of an old joke: An alien walks into a crowded bar, proceeds to order ‘drinks all round, on me!’ At the end of the evening, the bar manager presents him with the eye-watering bill. The alien hands over a piece of crystal and asks, “Have you got change for a Zonk?”

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

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