Brendan Gaughan will bring his NASCAR driving career to a close in Sunday’s YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
When Gaughan takes the green flag for the final time it will mark his 67th Cup Series start and 503rd across all three of NASCAR’s top divisions dating back to his first Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series start in 1997. Gaughan visited Victory Lane eight times driving a truck and twice in the Xfinity Series and hopes to close out his career with his first in Cup.
Gaughan’s last full-time season came in 2017 driving for Richard Childress in Xfinity. Since that year he’s competed in the Cup races at Daytona and Talladega with Beard Motorsports.
"Look I retired four years ago," Gaughan said. "The last four years with the Beard family this has been gravy. This was not expected. This was not something I ever thought I’d have the chance to do and do it at a great level. We’ve been running competitive every time we show up. It’s fun, I enjoy it.
"Twenty-three years later of driving NASCAR and I’m still standing, I still got it. We’re still having fun. But at the same time I’m just going to look back and say I was lucky. I met some great people. I got some great friends from this. I’ve got great memories out of it."
Over the past four years, Gaughan has put up great numbers for the one-car team owned by Mark Beard Sr. in 15 superspeedway (Daytona and Talladega) starts. He’s finished in the top 10 four times, including the two races at Daytona this year, and his average finish of 16.7 ranks seventh among drivers that competed in every race in that span.
"We’ve had a great season so far," Gaughan said. "We’ve had a good run and see if we can’t go out on a high note."
Although Gaughan’s NASCAR career will come to an end after Talladega, he will still continue to race where it all started for him, in off-road. Recently, Gaughan’s son made his racing debut.
"I’m still racing the desert," Gaughan said. "I still got my off-road stuff. I didn’t really tell anybody. I kind of snuck it in…my seven-year-old son’s first off-road race. I didn’t post about it. I tried to do it under the radar. So I’m still going to be about racing with my kids hopefully for a long time, not necessarily NASCAR.
"I’ll still be driving things. Think of Tony Stewart, Kenny Schrader – we love to drive, we love to race and I’m still racing don’t you worry about that. I just don’t plan on doing NASCAR anymore. You won’t have to worry about me coming out of second retirement from NASCAR."
Motor Racing Network will have live coverage of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway starting at 1 p.m. ET.