Tenacity paid off for JTG Daugherty at Daytona

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Tenacity paid off for JTG Daugherty at Daytona


Tenacity paid off for JTG Daugherty at Daytona


In the three full seasons with JTG Daugherty, Ricky Stenhouse has finished no higher than 22nd in points.

But neither he nor the team has wavered in their passion and determination to succeed at the Cup Series level, regardless of how hard it is. That paid off in last Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Stenhouse joined JTG after two Xfinity Series championships and two wins in seven seasons with Jack Roush. While undoubtedly talented, Stenhouse has had many ups and downs that might have had some teams looking elsewhere.

“We didn’t give up on Ricky because personally, I feel like he’s got the spirit of a winner and I like what he represents as a person,” team co-owner Jodi Geschickter said. “I see flashes of brilliance in what he does. I felt like he could do it. I felt like he could get the job done, and I never questioned that.”

Daytona was Stenhouse’s third career Cup win in 365 starts, and previous two wins were also at superspeedways. In 2017, Stenhouse won the spring Talladega Superspeedway race, and followed it up by winning the July 4 race at Daytona – and giving a memorable “1776!” shout in his post-race interview.

Last season, Stenhouse and the No. 47 team took a step forward with the most laps led (77) and a single-season high in top-10 finishes (five) since they’ve been together, and Tad Geschickter pointed out what Stenhouse means for the team away from the track.

“We have 18 corporate partners,” said Geschickter. “There are not many drivers in this series that would do the work that Ricky Stenhouse does every day behind the scenes that no one sees. Appearances in front of grocery stores, to trips to corporate headquarters. He’s a workhorse, and someone that believes in you that hard, you’re going to keep believing back in them, too.”

Tad and Jodi Geschickter have fielded at least one Cup Series entry since 2009. Daytona was the second win in company history, and the first since 2014 at Watkins Glen with A.J. Allmendinger.

JTG Daugherty Racing is the first single-car team since the Wood Brothers in 2011 to win the Daytona 500. Should Stenhouse use his Daytona win to make the playoffs, it will be the second time the organization has been a part of the postseason.

It is not for lack of effort, Jodi and Tad insist. Some days will be better than others, and they acknowledge every weekend is a fierce battle. There are about 45 people who work in the JTG Daugherty shop and believe in what they’re trying to accomplish.

When asked why they compete when it’s so hard, Jodi Geschickter said, “Because we don’t quit. We’re tenacious. We don’t quit. We dig in.

“I had a very strong family background that taught me that and they instilled that in me. You do have to raise questions in your mind and say, is this the right path? You have to be smart about it. But you just don’t quit. You get the information, you try to make good decisions, and you just don’t quit.”