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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins Daytona 500 pole, Alex Bowman qualifies second

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will start from the pole in the 62nd Daytona 500 while Alex Bowman will start second.

Stenhouse qualified first Sunday with a speed of 194.582 mph and ended Hendrick Motorsports’ streak of five consecutive Daytona 500 poles. It is Stenhouse’s third Cup Series pole

Next Sunday’s Daytona 500 will be Stenhouse’s first start with JTG Daugherty Racing.

“It’s cool,” Stenhouse told Fox. “Tad (Geschickter, team owner) and (wife) Jodi are back at the shop with everybody. So. I’m just thankful for the opportunity to be here and to bring guys with me like Brian (Pattie, crew chief). They’ve been working really hard. They’re in my corner. They’ve been behind me throughout all my career. Ernie (Cope, competition director) runs a great organization and a great shop.

“The Hendrick horsepower was amazing. Obviously we’ve got quite a few Hendrick cars right there behind us lined up. Our Camaro ZL1 1LE was really strong. And the winds started picking up there, down the back straightaway; a little headwind for the other guys, so I’m really proud to put our Kroger Chevy on the pole on Kroger pole day for the Daytona 500. That was our goal coming down here. Pattie was working really hard all off-season for that goal. And everybody chipped in, the whole shop. We cut bodies off. We put them back on. So this goes out to the whole shop and I’ve got to thank our other partners as well. I’m looking forward to hopefully continuing this momentum on Thursday.”

2020 is Stenhouse’s first season driving the No. 47 Chevrolet for JTG Daugherty Racing after a decade with Roush Fenway Racing. This is the team’s third Cup pole. The first two were earned by AJ Allmendinger on road courses.

Bowman posted a speed of 194.363 mph. It is the third straight year Bowman has started on the front row of the Daytona 500. Bowman led a Hendrick effort that saw Chase Elliott post the third best speed and Jimmie Johnson post the fourth.

“There’s a flag at the end of the back straightaway that you can see and kind of see where the wind is at and what it’s doing, and the car kind of fell on its face off of Turn 2,” Bowman said. “You could see the flag was pointed straight at me, so I knew we had a really big headwind.  I wasn’t really aware of where the winds were for all the other guys, so I was a little worried about that, but obviously didn’t hurt us too bad.  Would have liked to have been a little better, but still pretty good.”

The rest of the field will be set through Thursday’s 150-mile qualifying races. Three cars will fail to make the 40-car field.

Justin Haley and Kaulig Racing locked their No. 16 Chevrolet into the 500 with the 31st best speed, which was the best among the seven “open” cars that don’t have charters, which guarantees a starting spot. It will be the first Cup Series start for the team that competes full-time in the Xfinity Series.

Brendan Gaughan also locked Beard Motorsports’ No. 62 Chevrolet into the 500 with the 33rd best speed, the second best speed among “open” cars.

Daniel Suarez, who is entering his first season with Gaunt Bros Racing, will have to race his way into the Daytona 500 after he posted the 36th best speed. Gaunt Bros Racing is one of the teams without a charter.

“We have to race hard,” Suarez said. “We knew that we would have a lot of challenges and that we didn’t also have the raw speed, but I know what I can do.  I just have to go out there … Thursday and get it done.”

Click here for the qualifying results.

43 cars entered for Daytona 500

Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Forty-three cars are entered for this year’s Daytona 500, meaning three cars will fail to make the race.

The 36 chartered teams are guaranteed starting spots.

Click here for Daytona 500 Entry List

Cars and drivers not guaranteed starting spots and vying for the four spots for non-chartered teams are:

No. 16: Justin Haley (Kaulig Racing)

No. 27: Reed Sorenson (Premium Motorsports)

No. 49: Chad Finchum (Motorsports Business Management)

No. 54: JJ Yeley (Rick Ware Racing)

No. 62: Brendan Gaughan (Beard Motorsports)

No. 66: Timmy Hill (Motorsports Business Management)

No. 96: Daniel Suarez (Gaunt Brothers Racing)

Daytona 500 qualifying takes place Sunday. The qualifying races will be Feb. 13. The Daytona 500 is Feb. 16.

 

 

Brendan Gaughan to run 4 final Cup races in 2020, including Daytona 500

Photo: Beard Motorsports' Twitter account
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Brendan Gaughan will kick off his 23rd and final season of NASCAR racing in the 62nd Daytona 500 for Beard Motorsports.

Gaughan – who is using the hashtag #NotGaughanYet to symbolize his final season — will drive the No. 62 Chevrolet at Daytona. If he qualifies, it will be his fifth time in the 500 field, with his best finish coming in 2017 when he finished 11th.

The 44-year-old Gaughan is slated to drive four races this season in NASCAR Cup for Beard Motorsports. In addition to the Daytona 500, he’ll also race April 26 at Talladega Superspeedway, August 29 back at Daytona and will make the final start of his racing career on October 4 back at Talladega.

The Las Vegas native has made 12 previous starts for Beard Motorsports, all at either Daytona and Talladega.

“I love racing, and competing with Beard Motorsports these last few years have made for some of my most enjoyable moments in NASCAR,” Gaughan said in a media release. “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.”

Last April, Gaughan led five laps at Talladega and gave Beard Motorsports its second top-10 finish in the Cup Series, finishing eighth. Gaughan also finished seventh at Daytona for Beard Motorsports in July 2017.

“I wouldn’t want my last races as a NASCAR driver to be with any other team,” Gaughan said. “(Team owner) 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.”

Gaughan has made 62 prior starts in the Cup Series dating back to his rookie season in 2004, when he earned his best career finish in the series (fourth at Talladega).

He also has made 219 starts in the Xfinity Series with two wins, and 217 starts in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series with eight wins.

Gaughan’s effort at Daytona will be in a chassis built by Richard Childress Racing and powered by a motor from ECR Engines. He’ll be sponsored by Beard Oil Distributing, South Point Hotel & Casino and City Lights Shine whiskey moonshine.

He begins his quest to qualify for the 40-car field with Daytona 500 qualifying on February 9. His lap will determine his starting spot in the Feb. 13 Duel – twin 150-mile heat races that set the rest of the field for the Great American Race.

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Preliminary Daytona 500 entry list released

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Forty-two cars are on the preliminary entry list for the Feb. 17 Daytona 500.

NASCAR released the entry list Wednesday night.

Among those on the entry list are: Casey Mears (No. 27, Germain Racing), Reigning Xfinity champion Tyler Reddick (No. 31, Richard Childress Racing), Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Beard Motorsports), Joey Gase (No. 66, Motorsports Business Management), Ryan Truex (No. 71, Tommy Baldwin Racing) and NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman (No. 96, Gaunt Brothers Racing).

Click here for Daytona 500 entry list

MORE: Full Daytona Speedweeks schedule 

Brendan Gaughan back to run four Cup races for Beard Motorsports

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Beard Motorsports announced Wednesday that Brendan Gaughan will be entered in the four Cup restrictor-plate races this season.

What’s new is that the car’s number will switch from No. 75 to No. 62 this season.

Gaughan ran both Daytona and Talladega Cup races last year for the team, finishing seventh in the July Daytona race and 11th in the Daytona 500. He was 19th in the fall Talladega race and 26th in the spring event.

Beard Oil Distributing and TTS Logistics are back as sponsors and will be joined by South Point Hotel & Casino and City Lights Shine.

“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,” said Gaughan in a statement from the team. “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.”
Darren Shaw returns to the be the team’s crew chief. The team also will use ECR engines again this season.