Gaughan Earns Career-Best Daytona 500 Result
Date: Feb. 16-17, 2020
Event: 62nd Daytona 500
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (65 laps/65 laps/70 laps)
Start/Finish: 39th/7th (Running, completed 209 of 209 laps)
Note I: Rain 20 laps into the Daytona 500 postponed the remainder of the race to Monday.
Note II: Race extended nine laps past its scheduled 200-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-65):
● Brendan Gaughan started 39th and finished 13th.
● Gaughan had the No. 62 Beard Oil Distributing/South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro up to 28th when the caution came out for rain on lap 20.
● When the race restarted on Monday, Gaughan rolled off 28th and pitted on lap 24 for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
● Gaughan continued to draft his way closer to the front and was up to 23rd when the yellow flag flew on lap 58. He radioed that he needed “a little bit of grip back in rear and a little more in the turn.”
● While some cars pitted, Gaughan stayed out and restarted 13th for the final two laps of the stage.
● At the end of the stage, the No. 62 pit crew fitted the Chevrolet Camaro with four tires, a full tank of fuel and made a wedge adjustment.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 66-130):
● Gaughan started 34th and finished 35th.
● Gaughan dropped back to the end of the lead lap within seven laps in an effort to preserve his No. 62 Beard Oil Distributing/South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro.
● Gaughan ran in the 39th position until the caution came out on lap 90. During this time, he wheeled his No. 62 machine down pit road for four tires and fuel.
● The pit crew had a great stop and sent Gaughan back onto the track in 30th on lap 95.
● At lap 117, Gaughan was asked how his car was doing now that the sun was going down. He said it had gotten loose off turn four the previous lap but, otherwise, the balance was good.
● At the end of the stage, Gaughan said his racecar was “a little loose in (turns) three and four on exit,” but that a big adjustment wasn’t needed, as he “expected it will get better.”
● The No. 62 crew put on four tires, added fuel and topped off with one lap to go before the final stage began.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 131-209):
● Gaughan started 32nd and finished seventh.
● The No. 62 Beard Oil Distributing/South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro came down pit road under the green flag for right-side tires and fuel. Gaughan was assessed a pass-through penalty for an extra man over the pit wall.
● When the caution came out on lap 184, Gaughan was in 32nd, one lap down to the leaders. After a red-flag period, the team made repairs to the No. 62 Chevrolet.
● The caution flag came out again with six laps left in the scheduled distance. Gaughan was up to 24th and reported that “the right rear is dragging on the ground – need to get it up.”
● The No. 62 Camaro came down pit road for two tires, fuel and adjustments, returning to the track in 23rd and in the Lucky Dog position.
● At lap 199 the race was red flagged a second time. The No. 62 Beard Oil Distributing/South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro had advanced to 20th and was back on the lead lap.
● After two green-white-checkered restarts, Gaughan finished seventh.
● Gaughan’s seventh-place result was his best career Daytona 500 finish, and it equaled his previous best finish at Daytona, earned in the July 2017 Coke Zero 400.
● Gaughan earned his second top-10 in 10 career, points-paying NASCAR Cup Series starts at Daytona.
● Denny Hamlin won his second-straight Daytona 500. It was his third victory in the Great American Race and his 38th career NASCAR Cup Series victory.
● Hamlin is now tied with Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon for third-most on the all-time Daytona 500 win list.
● Hamlin’s margin of victory over second-place Ryan Blaney was .014 of a second, the second-closest victory in Daytona 500 history.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 39 laps.
● Only 17 of the 40 drivers in the Daytona 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Hamlin leaves Daytona as the championship leader with a seven-point advantage over second-place Blaney.
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the No. 62 Beard Oil Distributing/South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro:
“My last Daytona 500, my career-best finish, what an amazing finish. The Beard Oil Team – what a great job. I’m so proud of all the guys. We don’t quit – 23 or 24 years of this and finally a top-10 in the Daytona 500 and a chance to win. The guys didn’t quit, the pit crew didn’t quit. I love the Beard family and thank you for the opportunity. For us, this is a big deal. We’re a small team with one employee – a car chief that’s a plumber – and we come home with a top-10 in the Daytona 500. I had a shot there at the end to win. That’s Daytona, man! This stuff is wild.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Las Vegas 400 on Sunday, Feb. 23, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Gaughan and Beard Motorsports’ next race is the Geico 500 April 26 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. That race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage on FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.