Brendan Gaughan’s farewell year to feature Daytona, Talladega races

by Justin Nguyen

2020 will see Brendan Gaughan‘s final season as a NASCAR driver. On Monday, he announced he will conclude his career with a four-race Cup Series slate, running the superspeedways—Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway—with Beard Motorsports.

“I love racing, and competing with Beard Motorsports these last few years have made for some of my most enjoyable moments in NASCAR,” Gaughan stated. “We do a lot with a little, so when we run up front and lead laps, it’s very satisfying because you know all the work that went into it.

“I wouldn’t want my last races as a NASCAR driver to be with any other team. Mark Beard Sr., and his entire family are passionate about racing, and NASCAR in particular. We’re all competitive and want to perform, but we’re going to have fun doing it. That’s how we all got started in the sport – because it was fun. And as I wrap up my career, I’m going to make sure it stays fun.”

The 2020 schedule is the same as always for the Gaughan/Beard partnership, which began in 2017. For the last three seasons, he has driven the #62 Chevrolet at exclusively Daytona and Talladega. In twelve starts with the team, he has two top-ten finishes and a best run of seventh at Daytona’s July race in 2017. In sixty-two career Cup races, including the full 2004 season, Gaughan has six top tens and a highest finish of fourth at Talladega’s fall race.

Much of the Las Vegas native’s NASCAR success came in the Xfinity and Truck Series. In the Xfinity Series, he has two wins and a best points finish of fourteenth in 2014. As a Truck racer, he has eight career victories, including six in a 2003 campaign that saw him finish fourth in the championship. With Gaughan being a member of the Richard Childress Racing stable since 2012, RCR provides equipment to Beard like cars and Earnhardt Childress Racing engines.

“Brendan brings a lot of experience to our race team and that has allowed us to be competitive despite not having all the resources of the bigger teams that compete week in and week out,” Beard said. “We have a lot of respect for what those teams do, and it’s an honor to be able to park in the NASCAR Cup Series garage, unload our racecar and see where we stack up. We take a lot of pride in the effort we put forth, and the effort our partners put into Beard Motorsports.”

Beard Motorsports attempted to debut in 2014 with Clay Rogers, but failed to qualify in two attempts. After a two-year hiatus, the team returned in 2017 with Gaughan. Beard ran two races in the now-Xfinity Series in the 1980s.

Gaughan’s first race will be the Daytona 500 on 16 February. On 26 April, he will run the first Talladega event before returning to Daytona on 29 August. His final start as a NASCAR driver will come at the Alabama 500 on 4 October.

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