Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Chris Buescher of Roush-Fenway Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
● Brendan Gaughan started 39th and finished 34th.
● The driver of the No. 62 Beard Oil Distributing/South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro avoided a couple of early accidents to start the stage. He was in 29th when the competition caution waved on lap 29 and reported that the car was a little too loose getting into turn three. The team changed four tires with adjusted air pressures and added fuel during the caution.
● Gaughan was in 31st place on lap 31 when he reported a handling issue affecting the right-front corner of the car, noting that it was “pounding into the ground.” The issue compromised tire pressure, slowing the No. 62 machine and causing Gaughan to lose the lead draft. He went a lap down to the leaders on lap 47.
● The caution came out three laps before the end of the stage, and because Gaughan was the first car one lap down, he earned the “lucky dog” and was placed back on the lead lap.
● Pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments at the end of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Gaughan started 24th and finished 35th.
● A quick caution at the start of the stage gave the Beard Motorsports team an opportunity to again work on the car’s handling. Gaughan noted it still felt like the front end was hitting the track hard. After a round of adjustments, Gaughan lined up 32nd for the restart.
● The chassis issue continued to be a problem on the No. 62 Chevy. Gaughan was able to make up track position despite the issue and climbed to as high as 12th on lap 95.
● Gaughan was running in the top-25 when a multi-car accident unfolded in front of him. While the damage to the front of the car was extensive, the transmission also broke, which forced the team to retire from the race.
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the No. 62 Beard Oil Distributing/South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro:
“Wow, that isn’t how I wanted this day to go at all. Early in the race, the Beard Oil Chevy just wasn’t right, but the guys on this Beard team just kept working on it. We finally got to where I could really race. We got up close to the top-10 and were in the thick of the draft. I just got taken out in a situation not of our making – just nowhere to go. It’s definitely disappointing, but I can’t thank the Beard Family enough, along with a whole lot of other people.”
● This was Gaughan’s final NASCAR Cup Series race. The 45-year-old racer from Las Vegas ends his NASCAR career with 550 starts across the Cup Series, Xfinity Series, Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and Winston West Series.
● In 67 career NASCAR Cup Series starts, Gaughan earned one top-five and eight top-10 finishes with 43 laps led.
● Seventeen of Gaughan’s NASCAR Cup Series starts have come with Beard Motorsports. Gaughan has scored four top-10 finishes with Beard Motorsports, representing half of his career top-10s. His other four top-10s came during his rookie season in 2004 with Team Penske.
● Gaughan made 11 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega in a career dating back to 2004. His best finish is fourth, earned in his second Cup Series start at the 2.66-mile oval in October 2004.
● Beard Motorsports has fielded a car in eight NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega. Its best finish is eighth in April 2019. All of Beard Motorsports’ starts have come with Gaughan.
● In 219 career Xfinity Series starts, Gaughan scored two wins and a pole while earning 20 top-fives and 67 top-10s with 195 laps led.
● In 217 career Truck Series starts, Gaughan scored eight wins and three poles while earning 47 top-fives and 80 top-10s with 1,032 laps led. He was the 2002 Truck Series rookie of the year.
● In 47 career Winston West Series starts, Gaughan scored eight wins and six poles while earning 25 top-fives and 31 top-10s with 1,401 laps led. He is a two-time Winston West Series champion (2000 and 2001).
● Denny Hamlin won the YellaWood 500 to score his 44th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his seventh of the season and his second at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Erik Jones was .086 of a second.
● There were 13 caution periods for a total of 54 laps.
● Twenty-two of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Hamlin leaves Talladega as the championship leader with a 20-point advantage over second-place Kevin Harvick.
While this was Beard Motorsports’ final race of the 2020 season, the next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bank of America Roval 400 on Sunday, Oct. 11 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway road course. It is the sixth race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.