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Beard Motorsports team owner passes away

Brad Daugherty looks at Silly Season in the NASCAR Cup Series, from Bubba Wallace's move to Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin's 23XI Racing, to the return of Kyle Larson, to the losses of Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer.

Mark Beard Sr., owner of Beard Motorsports, died Monday, the team announced. He was 72.

Beard Motorsports stated it will race in Beard’s honor at Daytona International Speedway. Noah Gragson will drive the No. 62 for Beard Motorsports and must make the Daytona 500 through qualifying or in his qualifying race to compete in the Feb. 14 event.

Brendan Gaughan had run for the team since 2017, running four races each from 2017-19 and five races last year. Gaughan ran at the speedway races at Daytona and Talladega all four of those years and added the Daytona road course race last year.