The No. 62 Beard Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro returns to action during the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24 (3 p.m. ET, FOX). Xfinity Series driver Noah Gragson will return to the entry while joining forces with a new partner in Wendy’s.
Beard Motorsports announced the news on April 18 and provided the first look at Gragson’s stock car. The Las Vegas native will drive a red, white, and blue stock car with Wendy’s logos on the hood and sides. The entry will advertise the new $5 Biggie Bag that features a choice of a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, Double Stack™, or a Crispy Chicken BLT with four-piece chicken nuggets (Spicy or Crispy), small Hot & Crispy Fries, and a small soft drink.
“It was awesome to make my Cup Series debut with Beard and ever since Daytona I’ve been looking forward to rejoining them at Talladega,” Gragson said in a press release. “We’ve got Wendy’s on board with us as they launch their $5 Biggie Bag promotion and I’m genuinely stoked about it. This is the first time they’ve been on a racecar in almost 20 years and they’re doing it with me. I’m proud of that and proud to have them at Beard Motorsports. Wendy’s has really embraced NASCAR as they’ve gone all in at Talladega.”
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Wendy’s Has History in NASCAR’s National Series
The race at Talladega Superspeedway will feature the return of Wendy’s. The fast-food chain has a history in NASCAR that includes both primary and associate sponsorships with multiple drivers. For example, Jeffrey Earnhardt had Wendy’s and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption as associate partners during the 2013 Xfinity Series season.
Stanton Barrett most recently put the chain on display during three different Xfinity Series seasons. He had Wendy’s as the primary partner on the No. 91 for three races at Rockingham Speedway — one each in 1993, 1994, and 1995. Wendy’s also supported the No. 91 for two races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1994. Barrett’s best finish was 20th overall during the first trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Wendy’s actually sponsored Morgan Shepherd during the 1998 Cup Series season. However, the veteran driver failed to qualify for races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway with the company on his stock car. Shepherd also failed to qualify for a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1999 with Wendy’s among his primary partners.
Gragson will now showcase Wendy’s while making his fourth Cup Series start of the 2022 season. He will strive to turn in a strong performance at the 2.66-mile superspeedway while fans in attendance purchase food at the pop-up Wendy’s in the infield.
Gragson’s First 3 Cup Starts Have Featured Incidents
Gragson agreed to join multiple Cup Series teams for the 2022 season so he could run a partial schedule and gain experience. He set a tentative four-race schedule with Beard Motorsports and added another 14 with Kaulig Racing.
Gragson’s first start in the Cup Series, the Daytona 500, featured him running inside of the top 10 in the No. 62 Chevrolet Camaro. He moved up to eighth overall with fewer than 20 laps remaining in the Crown Jewel race, but a multicar incident knocked him out of the race. He ended the day 31st overall instead of contending for the win.
Gragson experienced similar issues during his first race in the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet. He suited up for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and started 30th overall. He worked his way up to 17th in the opening laps, but he lost control of the stock car on Turn 2. Gragson tried to correct the No. 16 as it started to slide, but the move sent it hard into the outside wall. The massive collision destroyed the car and sent Gragson to the infield care center for further evaluation.
The trip to Bristol Motor Speedway included another multicar incident. Corey LaJoie spun around in the center of a turn and forced Kevin Harvick to quickly move to the left. He collided with Gragson, resulting in the No. 16 going up onto the No. 4 before it slid into the wall. Alex Bowman also spun out and sustained some damage.
Harvick’s day came to an end after the incident, but Gragson was ultimately able to continue. He fell multiple laps down, but an increasing number of cautions during the final stage helped him gain back some spots. He ended his third Cup Series race 27th overall and two laps down.
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