Brad Daugherty Recalls his Reaction to his Team’s First Cup Series Win

Published 08/10/2021, 8:26 PM EDT
Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger (16) during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


In 2006, former basketball player, Brad Daugherty decided to venture into NASCAR with his own team. Since then, the outfit has been in operation in the Cup Series and continues to run to this day. The team’s crowning glory came in the 2014 season at the hands of AJ Allmendinger.

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Admittedly, all the signs of an AJ Allmendinger upset were there, as he had topped the final practice session. In qualifying, he lined up sixth on the grid, behind Jeff Gordon, Marcos Ambrose, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. It is also worth mentioning that the weekend was marred by the passing of Kevin Ward Jr, an incident that also involved Tony Stewart.

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For his part, Stewart elected to pull out of the race and Regan Smith took his Stewart-Haas seat. Coming back to the race itself, Allmendinger came into contention from the second half of the race. This was after Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell triggered a red flag due to a massive accident.

How did the race pan out for Brad Daugherty and his team?

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When the race restarted with 31 laps to go, Allmendinger snatched the lead from Carl Edwards. There were more cautions, courtesy Josh Wise and later on, Jimmie Johnson. Nevertheless, the JTG Daugherty driver held firm, until he came under attack from Marcos Ambrose.

The two traded the lead until the final restart, where Allmendinger retained the lead and held off Ambrose. Incidentally, Brad Daugherty himself had to rush down from the commentary booth to celebrate with his team. Daugherty revealed that the NBC Sports producer was the one to shoo him out of the booth and on to Victory Lane.

Daugherty said, “I ran over and I grabbed him. I’m hugging him and I’m so excited, everyone is pouring beer. He [Allmendinger] is like, ‘I’m a grown man! Will you put me down?’. I’m just walking around, I forgot I had him.”

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That race at Watkins Glen would be the only Cup Series Win. However, the outfit has also racked up four wins in the Xfinity Series.

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Dhruv George

11993 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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