By David Morgan, Associate Editor
Moments after his No. 62 Beard Oil Motorsports Chevrolet went flying through the air at the end of the backstretch in the waning laps at Talladega, Brendan Gaughan emerged from the Infield Care Center with his signature sense of humor and explained the crash as only he could.
“Stuck the landing,” Gaughan joked. “The Russian judge docked me a little bit. I didn’t keep it straight”
Running in one of the only four races he runs each year, Gaughan had placed himself in position to top his eighth-place finish at Talladega in the spring, piloting his car into the top lane with a push from Brad Keselowski when all hell broke loose.
Contact between Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. turned Busch into Gaughan and the crash was on from there. As he spun sideways in front of the oncoming field, he was impacted by Kurt Busch and Matt DiBenedetto, which launch Gaughan’s car into the air.
After a quick airborne barrel roll, Gaughan landed back down on all four wheels while calamity continued to ensue all around him. By the time all was said and done, 11 cars were involved, with Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Daniel Hemric, Chris Buescher, David Ragan, and Ryan Preece joining in the fray that brought out the red flag.
Though the crash looked vicious, Gaughan shrugged off his airborne excursion by relating it to his off-road days.
“Listen, I spent three years in off-road racing and we flip flop. The easiest thing you can do is go upside down, because nothing hits hard. So that’s the nicest thing about it,” Gaughan said.
“I haven’t even seen it, but Brad (Keselowski) was pushing the crap out of me and I loved it. But man, the Beard Oil Distributing Chevy, we ran a great strategy. Darren Shaw, Ron Lewis our spotter, everybody…..it was awesome. The 62 was in front for a split second. I was just so proud and thank you to ECR, Richard Childress, Chevrolet and to Darren and Ron and all the guys on this team.
“It was okay, it was just one easy, quick flip and we put it down. The only thing you worry about then is somebody hitting you. That is what you don’t want and that is where the fear comes in. Other than that, I am fine and like I said, some people would argue that I have anything up there that’s going to hurt.”
While the crash destroyed their car, Gaughan added that he and the Beard family won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, noting that he expects the team to return to their superspeedway plan at the 2020 Daytona 500.
“Thank you to Chevrolet and thank you to the Beard family, love you guys, and yes, I will see you at the Daytona 500.”