Noah Gragson will make a run at the 2022 Daytona 500 with Beard Motorsports.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series frontrunner will attempt to qualify the No. 62 Chevrolet Camaro for the 64th running of ‘The Great American Race’ on February 20. It marks Gragson’s return to the outfit he drove for at Daytona earlier this year, when he was collected in a multi-car crash during the qualifying race just four laps shy of the end.
“I’m so happy to have this opportunity to return to Daytona with Beard Motorsports,” said the 23-year-old Gragson, a five-time winner in the Xfinity Series. “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.”
The non-chartered team was founded by the late Mark Beard Sr. and is currently run by his daughter, Amie.
“To say that we can’t wait to get back to Daytona is a massive understatement,” said Amie Beard, executive vice president, Beard Motorsports. “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.”
In addition to having Gragson back behind the wheel, the team also has an alliance with Richard Childress Racing, which should help bolster the learning curve for the Next Gen’s official points-paying debut.
“We have a Next Gen car, we have Noah, and we still have our alliance with Richard Childress Racing,” Mark Beard Jr said. “Some folks might be ready for the offseason, but we’re definitely on for Daytona.”
Brendan Gaughan, who finished seventh in the 2020 Daytona 500 – the final year of his driving career – with Beard Motorsports, remains involved with the team and now serves as the vice president of racing operations.
“All of us look forward to having Brendan up on the pit box with us,” said Linda Beard. “He has been with us since the beginning and become a part of our family. His personality and his relationships in this sport are essential to our race team. In a season where seemingly everything is new, his presence provides stability. It’s great to have him next to me as we continue this journey.”
Gragson, who is also driving full-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, is hoping to replicate or improve on Gaughan’s result, which remains the team’s best to date.
“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 said. “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.”