Crossovers happen all the time in music. We see it all too often. Country to Rock, Rock to Top-40, Top-40 back to Country… Yada yada yada.
It’s a bit different in sports. The disciplines are so different. The regimen, the skills, the arena of play…
Joe Gibbs made the jump as an owner. NFL Championships to NASCAR Championships. Now the NBA has the honor of passing another Champion to the ranks of horsepower and speed.
Brad Daugherty is no stranger to racing. He grew up around it. He also had a talent for basketball which earned a college scholarship with UNC and ultimately, the NBA with the Cavaliers. He lead scoring, rebounds and was named to the All Star Team five times.
He never stepped too far from the world of racing as his number with Cleveland was 43, a tribute to Richard Petty. He retired from basketball with back pain issues and put that winning drive to work in business and the community. Some of that business included racing with ownership involvement at Liberty Racing. Well spoken, he is known as an analyst and commentator for ESPN covering NASCAR and College Basketball. Currently, he is also co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing fielding a Sprint Cup team with driver Bobby Labonte.
Now, there is an additional component. Brad has his own truck running laps and preparing for Camping World Series competition.
Brad was at Martinsville Speedway Thursday, April 19th, with a Toyota Truck all decked out with Bubba Burgers, Bush’s Beans, a red #34 and 700 horses under the hood. He also had a full team on hand including Champion Crew Chief Andy Petree of the famed Earnhardt #3 team.
In and out of the truck for several sessions on the famous Martinsville oval, Daugherty picked up the pace as Petree drove along on several occasions trading lines, passes and tips on techniques. On Brad’s driving skills, Andy said he has good insight on the track and behind the wheel and referenced Daugherty’s history with racing in several disciplines. As a spectator, we tend to agree. The #34 gained in lap times, speed and slipped into a comfortable groove hitting the marks and race day speeds.
Out of the truck for breaks, talks with the crew about the handling and setup, and maybe a ham & cheese with mayo, Brad also had a few moments to speak about his own focus on racing. He is looking at some NASA races (National Auto Sport Association), road courses and getting the #34 into the pack with the Camping World Series. For his duties with ESPN, he was looking for wheel time that would transfer to relating a better experience from the mic to the fans. He also spoke a little on the NBA and the run on the playoffs.
That part was confusing.
On racing, Brad Daugherty is focused. He is bringing in and working with talented people with winning histories. More than that, he is doing something many in his large shoes find difficult. He is listening. All too often people who already have notches in the post take on new challenges with an attitude they don’t need advice. He may carry 7 feet into the window of the race truck but is showing he is not too high to listen to the advice of those who have the experience to help him move forward.
We’ll be looking at the #34 and pulling for the hardwood transition to the checkered flag.