Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images

Ryan Preece signs with JTG Daugherty to drive in Cup in 2019

Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. — Ryan Preece, who gained notice by pooling his sponsorship money to run a limited number of races with a top Xfinity team last year instead of running a full-time schedule with a lower team, had that gamble pay off Friday with a full-time Cup ride for 2019.

Preece will join JTG Daugherty and drive the No. 47 next season, the team announced Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 27-year-old Preece, who has signed a multi-year agreement, replaces AJ Allmendinger. Preece, who has five career Cup starts, will be a teammate to Chris Buescher. The team will have Hendrick Motorsports supply its engines next year. This is the team’s last season with ECR Engines.

Preece drove a full Xfinity season for JD Motorsports in 2016 for JD Motorsports, a lower-funded team, and had one top-10 finish. Preece used his sponsorship money to run a couple of races for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017. He finished second at New Hampshire and won at Iowa, earning a ride in two additional races. This season, he’s scored one win and six top-10 finishes in nine starts for JGR. He’s set to run the rest of the Xfinity schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing before joining JTG Daugherty Racing for the 2019 season.

“We’re really looking forward to having Ryan join our team for the 2019 season,” team owner Tad Geschickter said. “Ryan has an impressive list of accomplishments in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series and is now being given a great opportunity to compete at NASCAR’s highest level full-time. We really believe in him and think he’s a great addition to the team.”

Preece, a native of Berlin, Connecticut, has competed in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour since 2007. He has 22 wins and 76 top-five finishes in 155 series starts. He won the 2013 title. Preece also was a part of the NASCAR Next Class in 2013 and 2014.

“Tommy Lasorda says, ‘The difference between impossible and possible lies in a man’s determination,’ and I feel that JTG Daugherty Racing has just that,” Preece said. “It’s been many years of fighting for opportunities to compete and win races at NASCAR’s highest level, and it is nice to officially say that JTG Daugherty Racing is my new home for 2019. I look forward to not only racing, but working with the team as well to build speed and create a name for myself here. I can’t thank Tad and Jodi Geschickter, Brad Daugherty and Gordon Smith enough for the opportunity.”

JTG Daugherty co-owner: ‘We just haven’t been very good’ last several seasons

Getty Images
5 Comments

After six seasons and more than 180 starts, JTG Daugherty Racing announced Tuesday it would part ways with AJ Allmendinger at season’s end.

It’s the latest development in a Silly Season with many aspects waiting to play out.

Co-owner Brad Daugherty addressed the decision Tuesday to part ways with the driver who earned the team its only Cup win in 2014 (Watkins Glen).

Simply, the two-car team – which includes Chris Buescher in the No. 37 Chevrolet – had become stagnant.

“I’m a huge AJ Allmendinger fan,” Daugherty said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Late Shift.” “For us at this point, as well as him, we’ve tried so many things and we continue to try to get better each week with our race team. We’re trying to do all the right things, put all the right pieces and parts together. And the past several seasons for us, the reality of it is we just haven’t been very good.”

Entering this weekend’s race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course, Allmendinger and the No. 47 Chevrolet are 24th in the standings. Through 28 races Allmendinger has one top five (Daytona in July) and three top 10s. Since winning at Watkins Glen in 2014, Allmendinger has four top fives.

“It’s been very, very hard,” Daugherty said. “At the end of the day, for AJ, it could just be the fact we can’t get our cars to go any faster. But we worked really, really hard. We tried. We tried this, we tried that. We came up with multiple concepts outside our alliance with Hendrick. … At the end of the day, it didn’t get any better. You look at the big picture of our race company, a lot of people look and think, ‘Well, you’re 23rd, 24th, whatever a lot of weeks.’ All of us that race back there, we don’t want to be there. We’re not just there to be markers in the field.

“We want to get better so we’re trying everything. And we may not be successful at it. But we’re going to darn sure try to overturn every stone to try to get better. … It’s by no fault of AJ. It’s just kind of run its course, for him and for us. … It’s amicable, I think, on both sides that we’ll part ways.”

 

 

NASCAR America: A strategy-aided win should be as valuable as any victory

1 Comment

Last Sunday, Clint Bowyer gambled on two tires and track position at the end of the Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Raceway. In a brief run at the end of the race, he held off his teammate Kevin Harvick to win his second race of the season.

Not everyone was not happy about it.

“If you win a rain-shortened race, or you win a fuel mileage race, take your trophy and move on,” Brad Daugherty, one of the owners of JTG-Daugherty Racing, said Tuesday night on Sirius / XM radio. “I don’t want to hear anything else about it. I don’t want to hear on radio, TV; I don’t want to see somebody write something about it a year from later, talking about ‘oh yeah, Clint Bowyer had a great run at Michigan; they won the race.’ No!”

Daugherty suggests that strategy-aided wins should not be valued the same as races that go the full distance.

“I’m not looking at these guys who win these races – rain-delayed races – the same as I am as a guy who goes out, lays the coal to it, figures out how to get to that checkered flag at the end of the full period.”

Daugherty’s opinions were not echoed by NASCAR America analysts Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett.

“You look at what Clint Bowyer and his group did on Sunday; they made a great pit strategy call and Clint Bowyer drove his butt off to keep the fastest racecar driver and the fastest car behind him, until it came the rain,” Burton said. “You want to tell me he didn’t deserve that? That’s wrong.”

“There are some exceptions where somebody runs terrible and just by chance – pit strategies and he’s a 20th-place car and he wins – I get that,” Burton continued. “But the majority of times, the by far, majority of times in a rain-shortened race, a really good car wins that race.”

Notably, one of JTG-Daugherty’s current drivers Chris Buescher won a rain- and fog-shortened race at Pocono in August 2016 while driving for Front Row Motorsports. He took the win by employing that strategy after running well back in the pack before weather intervened.

‘Brad Daugherty’s a friend of mine, but Brad, I 100% disagree with you here,” Dale Jarrett said.

‘If you win a race by fuel mileage because you’ve done things and gone about things differently – you weren’t the fastest car – that doesn’t make any difference. I’m sorry, you’ve won the race on a different strategy.”

For more, watch the video above.

Team owner Brad Daugherty joins SiriusXM NASCAR Radio lineup

Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images
1 Comment

Brad Daugherty, co-owner of JTG Daugherty, will co-host “The Late Shift” on Monday nights, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio announced Friday. Daugherty will begin Feb. 19, the day after the Daytona 500.

Daugherty will join co-host Brad Gillie.

Larry McReynolds will co-host the show on Tuesday nights. Former co-host Kenny Wallace will remain as a part-time host.

During an appearance Friday morning on “The Morning Drive,” Daugherty discussed his new opportunity and more, including a spending cap and escalating costs in the sport.

On costs and a spending cap in the sport, Daugherty said:

“The biggest challenge for me would be if that happened, the first thing that would have to happen would be a collective bargaining process, which could happen, but then there would have to be a tremendous revenue sharing in all the resources that are available to NASCAR and to the sport because then you’re cutting out equal chunks of the pie like baseball, like basketball and like football,” he said. “Now these race teams, which we have our charters, they could become true commodities. I don’t think you can do it in racing simply because the are so many moving pieces and parts. The other sports are pretty much straight forward and simple.

“When you have so many vendors that participate on a weekly basis in this sport like they do now, it makes it almost impossible to control those costs unless you have just one supplier for everything throughout the sport and then that doesn’t make sense because then you don’t know if you’re getting the best equipment available throughout the sport.

“When you are talking about mechanical things, pieces and parts and vendors, it’s almost impossible to put that all under thumb and to create some kind of cap. It would be unfair. I think if you have your revenue stream and you’re able to take your revenue stream to produce opportunities for your company, based upon the rulebook and based upon the rules that are legislated through the sport, I think that’s as fair as it gets. Now, one guy can outspend another. I just think that is the way it is. It has always been that way. I really don’t have a problem with that.

“The spending, though, we need to find better ways to control costs … just the weekly stuff. Goodyear does a great job with trying to control costs for us. Our brake packages and stuff like that are creeping up on price. Probably 12 years ago, a brake package at Daytona probably costs us about $4,500. Last year, we ran the same speed 12-13 years ago, that brake package was $45,000. Those types of costs within the sport need to be monitored a little bit better, I do believe that will help us.

“Even with that, the guy who can put his dollars in the right position and run his race team, these businesses are not like any other businesses on the face of the planet. They’re not like other sports business, the compression chart when you look at how these things are put together with executives and individuals and aeronautical engineers and crew people. It’s not the same. It’s just a unique sport that I don’t think you can actually get a tremendous grasp on fiscally just because of all the moving pieces and parts available. I like having all the pieces and parts available to my race team. It’s up to me or (co-owner) Tad (Geschickter) or Jodi (Geschickter) to go out and find the money to implement them.”