Beard Motorsports will return to the NASCAR Cup Series in mid-February and will attempt to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500. The team will field the No. 62 Chevrolet Camaro with Noah Gragson as the driver for the second consecutive season.
Beard Motorsports revealed the news on Tuesday, November 16, with a press release. The team noted that it will have to race into The Great American Race as a non-chartered team and that the Next Gen car and the alliance with Richard Childress Racing will help them achieve this goal.
“To say that we can’t wait to get back to Daytona is a massive understatement,” said Amie Beard, executive vice president of Beard Motorsports, in a statement. “From the moment my father founded this race team, we all took a tremendous amount of pride in showing up and performing right alongside the established teams in the sport. Last year didn’t go the way we wanted, but that’s just made us more motivated to return.”
A Wreck Ruined Gragson’s 2021 Cup Series Debut
Gragson made his Cup Series debut in 2021 and attempted to qualify for the Daytona 500. He climbed into the No. 62 after vice president of racing operations Brendan Gaughan hand-picked him for the role.
Gragson nearly secured his spot in the Daytona 500 during the second Bluegreen Vacation Duel. However, an incident ended his night early and sent the No. 62 back to the hauler. Garrett Smithley attempted to force his way between Brad Keselowski and Gragson, but he turned the No. 2 Team Penske Ford into the No. 62 Beard Motorsports Chevrolet. This maneuver kicked off a large wreck that also damaged stock cars belonging to William Byron and Ross Chastain.
“I’m so happy to have this opportunity to return to Daytona with Beard Motorsports,” said the 23-year-old Gragson. “It was good to get a taste of Cup racing in last year’s Duel, but it left us all wanting more. We’ve got some unfinished business down there.
“Beard Motorsports has proven that it can run with the big teams there at Daytona, and I’m just really looking forward to getting another crack at it,” Gragson continued. “We know we have to race our way into the Daytona 500, and I’m very appreciative of the faith the Beard Family has in me.”
Beard Motorsports Announced Daytona 500 Plans in September
Beard Motorsports announced on September 7 that the team would once again return to the Cup Series. The organization issued a press release and confirmed that it had obtained a Next Gen chassis and would use it to attempt to qualify for the season-opening race.
Beard Motorsports did not reveal the identity of the driver that would attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500. However, the organization confirmed that its alliance with RCR would continue as it pursued starts at superspeedways.
“Beard Motorsports has always over delivered and it’s a testament to its people and the relationships they have within the industry,” Gaughan said in a statement. “We have to outwork and outthink the competition, and we feel that the NextGen car plays right into our hands because it levels the playing field. We’ll have similar equipment to the big teams, but no one is going to beat us when it comes to want and desire.”
Two months later, Beard Motorsports provided more information about its future. Gragson will be the wheelman once again and will attempt to secure his first Cup Series start while continuing to drive full-time in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports.
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