NASCAR Cup Series

Beard Motorsports returning for 2022 Daytona 500, driver TBA

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Credit: Beard Motorsports

Beard Motorsports is back for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. On Tuesday, the team announced it will enter the 2022 season-opening Daytona 500 with the #62 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and the possibility of running the other three superspeedway races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway have not been ruled out.

A driver of the car was not immediately revealed. Xfinity Series regular Noah Gragson was to make his Cup début in the entry at the 2021 Daytona 500 but failed to qualify after being caught in a wreck in his Bluegreen Vacations Duel. Prior to the qualifying races, team owner Mark Beard died at the age of 72, which left the team’s future in question and it has not entered any events since the 500.

Beard Motorsports first appeared in 2014 with Clay Rogers, who débuted the team in what is now the ARCA Menards Series in 2009. However, Rogers failed to qualify for the two Cup races that the team entered.

Brendan Gaughan joined the organisation in 2017 as its Cup programme was revived. Gaughan scored four top-ten finishes with a best run of seventh twice in seventeen races, all but one of which was a superspeedway; the lone exception was the Daytona Road Course in 2020 before his retirement. Gaughan currently serves as the team’s vice president of racing operations, while crew chief Darren Shaw is the lone full-time employee. Shaw has worked as Beard’s crew chief since 2017.

“My father was passionate about racing, and he took a great deal of pride in coming to Daytona and competing against the biggest names in the sport,” team executive vice president Amie Beard stated. “He passed away just before this year’s Daytona 500, and his presence was definitely missed.”

As the team does not possess a charter, the #62 will once again have to qualify for the 500 either on speed or Duel finish if the entry list is larger than the maximum forty allowed. Beard commented the arrival of the seventh-generation Next Gen car will make for “a whole new ball game. We’re ready to play.”

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History major at San Jose State University and lifelong motorsports fan who covers NASCAR and the Stadium Super Trucks.
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