Current ESPN analyst and Sprint Cup Series team owner Brad Daugherty may be best known for his days on the basketball court during a successful college and NBA career.
But Daugherty was bitten by the racing bug at a tender age he in fact spent some time behind the wheel of racecars before jumping into the realm of NASCAR's elite.
Now Daugherty is returning to his original racing roots with a program in the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) circuit.
“I’ve raced Late Models in the NASCAR Whelen Series for a few years,” Daugherty said. “I didn’t race this summer, but last year I ran four or five races. I’ve also ran a couple of full body cars at road course races with NASA and ran nine races last year in a Roadster.
“Also, when we had NASCAR Nationwide Series cars I’d run laps,” Daugherty continued. “I bet I’ve turned 500 or 600 laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway and 300 or 400 laps around Daytona International Speedway at speed. I’ve run a bunch of laps at Charlotte too. It’s kind of funny - - my passion for racing. I’ve been doing it for a long time, but nobody really noticed it. I have always loved racing and this big old body was used to playing basketball, not stuff it in a race car. However, I’ve got a little bit of time and I still love tinkering and I want to race a little bit more.”
In preparation for competing in the NASA Southeast Division next season, Daugherty will test a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series machine at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday.
“The reason I’m testing a truck is because I’m going to try to run it next year in the series called NASA in the Southeast Region, which is a road course racing series, “ Daugherty said. “It’s for me to get used to the horsepower because it is probably 200 more horsepower than I have ever raced. Andy Petree and Michael Waltrip are going to spend the day with me. Mikey, who is 6’ 5”, decided to come along to help shake it down and decipher information for me.”
Daugherty is going to compete in eight NASA races in 2012 around his television broadcast schedule and employ the services of ESPN colleague and former crew chief Petree to assist in his endeavors.
“We will race at Road Atlanta twice, Charlotte, Carolina Motorsports Park, Roebling Road in Savannah and so forth,” Daugherty said. “I’m trying to run eight races until I have to go back to work. I’m also going to run a Thunder Roadster at Road Atlanta on December 2nd, which is their final race of 2011. Their first race is the second week of February at Carolina Motorsports Park.
“Andy has helped me a lot with my race car chassis,” Daugherty said. “Andy, Jeff Swan and a young man out of Asheville (N.C.), Brian Ogle actually built this truck for me. It will be a lot of fun to test.”
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