By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
He may not be competing full-time, but Brendan Gaughan will be back at Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500. For the second year in a row, Gaughan will pilot the Beard Motorsports entry in ‘The Great American Race.’ This year, it will be in the familiar No. 62 Beard Oil Distributing and TTS Logistics Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Last year, Gaughan competed in all four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series restrictor plate races for team-owner Mark Beard. The underdog team finished just shy of a top-10 in the 2017 running of the Daytona 500 and earned a top-10 in the Coke-Zero 400. It was the first top-10 in Beard Motorsports history, and Gaughan’s first since his rookie season in 2004.
“We would like to build off the success we achieved last season at both Daytona races, we made the Daytona 500 on our time and did not have the stress of racing our way in through the Can-Am duels and finished 11th in the race,” explained Beard. “Then, we then came back in July and finished seventh. Even though the team didn’t get the finishes they wanted at Talladega, then ran very well during each race, even leading the fall race twice for six laps. To have a driver with Brendan’s experience behind the wheel is great and the fact that South Point wanted to get involved makes it even better.”
While he is stepping away from full-time competition, Gaughan insists he’s not retiring. Coming off of a 10th-place finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Standings, he is focusing on simply having fun,
“I have had more fun racing with Mr. Beard for the four races last year than I had in my prior 50 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts. I’m also very excited about the car that RCR has built for us, Richard Childress has been an amazing friend and I appreciate how much support he is giving to the Beard Motorsports Chevrolet in our part time efforts. I would personally like to thank the entire Beard family for continuing this opportunity and for allowing us to run the number that has been so special to me my entire career.”
Beard Motorsports will be utilizing both a brand-new chassis purchased from Richard Childress Racing and their updated, and surviving chassis from last year. In addition to the chassis that will accommodate the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 body, the team will use ECR engines in all four restrictor plate races this season.
On top of the pit box once again will be crew chief Darren Shaw. He considers himself lucky to have this opportunity,
“I feel lucky to work with such a great owner like Mark Beard, he gives me the parts and pieces we need to go fast and having a driver like Brendan Gaughan, I can’t ask for anyone better than him for a part time effort. We have a great crew of guys, some full-time racers and some weekend warriors, you would never know that if you were around the car in the garage area.”
Now Gaughan, Beard, and Shaw will look to upset the powerhouse teams and steal the show on the tracks where anything can happen.