Beard Motorsports to attempt Richmond

Courtesy Photo
The Beard Motorsports No. 75 Chevrolet SS. The team will attempt to make their debut at Richmond International Raceway Friday.

By Dominic Aragon
September 1, 2014


First-year team Beard Motorsports will attempt to qualify for their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next week at Richmond International Speedway.

Beard Motorsports will field the No. 75 Chevrolet. Clay Rogers, a veteran of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will drive the car and will also be bidding to qualify for his Sprint Cup debut.

Although the team is only attempting to make a Sprint Cup race for the second time, Rogers said the process to get everything together has been a working progress for a few years.

“[Team owner Mark Beard] always wanted to compete in the Cup Series, and now that he had the time and the resources to do it, I was just lucky enough to be the guy around when he decided to do it,” Rogers said.

The team plans on running an in-house sponsor, Beard Oil, a company team owner Mark Beard owns, and will feature Darren Shaw calling shots as crew chief and Jason Reiner as spotter.

The single-car operation, based out of Mooresville, North Carolina, was on the official entry list for the July New Hampshire Motor Speedway race, but withdrew their car before the race weekend.

Clay Rogers

According to Billy Hess, spokesperson for Beard Motorsports, the team has plans on running the distance next Saturday night if they qualify for the race.

“There is no start-and-park, the owner wants to race,” Hess said.

“Being our first time at the racetrack, we want to complete all the laps,” driver Clay Rogers said is the “number one goal.”

In a sport where the quality of equipment determines speed, Hess hopes the preparation going into the team will pay off next weekend in qualifying.

According to the Hess Racing Products Facebook page, the team’s engine was built with used Hendrick Motorsports parts. And with tests at various east coast tracks, including at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Hess said time trails from the tests would qualify their car “in the neighborhood of 25th and 30th.”

“We’ve been up to Motor Mile Speedway up in Virginia four or five times in the last six to eight months,” Rogers said. “People have gone and tested Motor Mile and have typically unloaded well at Richmond.

“I have felt like we have developed a real good package up there. We’ve been real happy with the car, it’s been real responsive.”

After next weekend, Beard Motorsports hopes to attempt more races in 2014, but the Richmond race weekend will determine that, according to Hess.

“If we get [the car] through the race without blowing up or getting tore up, we’re going to try to do either Martinsville, Phoenix, or possibly both,” he said.