NASCAR: Brad Daugherty Opens Up About Small Teams’ Recent Performances

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Ross Chastain’s victory at the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at COTA marked a huge moment for not only the No. 1 driver but for small NASCAR teams as a whole. It was Ross Chastain’s first-ever Cup Series win and allowed his small two-driver team, Trackhouse Racing, to put a dash in their wins column. Following the race, fellow small team rep, JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Brad Daugherty gave his thoughts on the performance of smaller NASCAR organizations.

He began by congratulating Ross Chastain on his cutthroat approach to chasing the checkered flag at COTA. “It was great,” Daugherty said. “Ross Chastain, like a bulldog on a soup bone, baby, he wanted that [checkered] flag. You gotta go do what you gotta do in this sport. There is no courtesy, there’s no giving people room. When that green flag comes out, you got to get it on, brother. It’s elbows and you know what else. You got to go get that checkered flag, baby!”

Brad Daugherty Gives His Thoughts on Smaller Teams’ Performance in Cup Series

Like Ross Chastain’s Trackhouse Racing team, Brad Daugherty’s JTG Daugherty Racing team is on the small side, fielding just one driver, No. 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Because of that, Daugherty completely understands the struggles a team like Trackhouse Racing faces, as well as what it means to capture a Cup Series victory.

“You know, Ross Chastain on that last lap for this small team, if you can put him in position, he will go get it. There’s no excuses,” Daugherty said. “And I respect the fact that he said, ‘Yeah, I’m okay with it. I had to do what I had to do.’ Because, in reality, when you race against these big monster teams every weekend, they run you over. You’re fodder, a lot of times.”

“Smaller teams, we’re constantly in the mode of trying to find the resources to make our teams better, even just to survive. You go out and win one of these Cup races, it’s a big, big deal,” Daugherty continued. “We have so many corporate partners, even as small teams. A lot of us have multiple corporate partners that are all in, and they want to see us do well. They want to be identified with the success of having the chance to run up front, and have a chance to win a Cup race.”

“It can put enough wind in your sails to push your program forward for a couple of seasons. Not a couple of races, for a couple of seasons. So, you know, it’s heartbreaking for a smaller team not to be able to seize this opportunity.”