Add Brendan Gaughan to the growing list of one-offs for next month’s Daytona 500 Live .As first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the 41-year-old will enter the Great American Race in a car owned by former Xfinity Series driver and ARCA team owner Mark Beard. The car will be powered by Richard Childress Racing engines and the RCR pit crew that works with Gaughan full-time in Xfinity.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (January 12, 2017) — Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced today that the team will compete in the 59th running of the Daytona 500 with Elliott Sadler behind the wheel of the No. 7 Golden Corral Chevrolet.
Sadler, a 16-year veteran of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, will be running double-duty during NASCAR’s opening weekend competing in both the Cup and XFINITY Series. The Emporia, Virginia native and Baldwin have a relationship dating back to their days at Robert Yates Racing when Baldwin served as crew chief for Sadler.
“This is a great opportunity for me and everyone affiliated with Tommy Baldwin Racing,” said Sadler. “I love the Daytona 500 and to have Tommy and Golden Corral offer me this opportunity is awesome. Tommy and I have known each other a long time. We actually won a qualifying race for the Daytona 500 together back in 2006. We’re gonna rekindle some of that magic and work our tails off to get our car in the race. I know Tommy is putting a lot of effort into this and we’re gonna go out and get the best result we possibly can for him and TBR’s partners.”
Golden Corral returns for their seventh season together and will bring back their popular ‘Top 10 Kids Eat Free’ promotion. If Elliott Sadler finishes in the top-10 at Daytona, kids 10 and under will eat free at Golden Corral restaurants nationwide on Monday, February 27th.
“We are excited to be working with Tommy Baldwin Racing for the seventh season,” said Shelley Wolford, Vice President of National Marketing and Media at Golden Corral. “We will be cheering Elliott on to qualify at Daytona and then race for a Top 10 Kids Eat Free finish.”
“We look forward to having Elliott join TBR and Golden Corral for the upcoming Daytona 500,” said team owner Tommy Baldwin. “Elliott has always been a strong restrictor plate racer which makes this a great opportunity for everyone involved. We know our fans look forward to the ‘Top10 Kids Eat Free’ promotion every year so we want to capitalize on that and finish the Daytona 500 strong.”
The car was piloted to 15th in last year’s Daytona 500 by Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing. Gaughan explained that the deal was brokered by Cup Series owner Jay Robinson.
“Jay Robinson, the man I drove for a couple of years ago at Premium Motorsports, called me in the middle of the Christmas break and said a friend of his was trying to do a deal and run the 500,” Gaughan told the Review Journal. “They bought the old Leavine car, they’ve hired ECR to do motors — real racing motors — and they asked if I would be interested. So it’s got Richard Childress motors, and I’m going to have a Richard Childress pit crew — my guys — and so we’re going to the Daytona 500 and see if we can qualify.”
That will be the challenge since Beard does not have an ownership charter that guarantees 36 cars an automatic starting spot in every Cup Series event. As it stands, the Daytona entry list looks like it may be 42 cars for 40 starting positions — or six non-charter teams for four such positions.
“It’s very cool; I’m real excited about it,” Gaughan said. “The best part about it is I’m with a stand-alone team, but technically I have teammates — I told (Xfinity teammates) Ty and Austin (Dillon) they better help me make the damn show.”
Gaughan participated in the inaugural Xfinity Series Chase last season but finished last amongst the 12 drivers. Beard Motorsports last attempted to make a race in 2014 at Richmond with Pro Cup Series champion Clay Rogers. It missed the show at hadn’t attempted a start over the past two seasons. Gaughan previously raced in the Daytona 500 Live back in 2004 with Team Penske. (source)