Brad Daugherty, the first Black principal owner to win Daytona 500, ‘already talking trash’ with Michael Jordan
NASCAR racing team owner Brad Daugherty made history Sunday by becoming the first Black principal owner to win the Daytona 500 when driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the storied race in double overtime.
“America doesn’t just look like the people in the garage have looked like for 55 years,” Tad Geschickter – who owns JTG Daugherty Racing with his wife, Jodi Geschickter, and Daugherty – said in a press conference after the win. “It’s diverse and everyone has different points of view and different talents and treasures.
“Brad certainly adds a different element to what we do and different thinking and a different background, and I think it’s the same from engineering to tire changers to drivers. It’s sorely needed.”
Daugherty, who had eye surgery recently, had been on site Sunday morning to visit with the team’s sponsors but left after the light was bothering his eyes, Geschickter said.
Daugherty’s first act in professional sport came on the NBA hardwood. The Cleveland Cavaliers selected him No. 1 overall in the 1986 NBA Draft and he went on to play eight seasons with the Cavaliers before back trouble kept him off the court.
In Daugherty’s NBA days, the Cavaliers were haunted by a certain Chicago Bulls star named Michael Jordan, who is also famously now a NASCAR team owner himself.
“I talked to him for a few minutes and he said that he and Michael Jordan are already talking trash,” fellow JTG Daugherty owner Jodi Geschickter said after the race to reporters. “I’m not sure what was said, but there have been conversations.”
Daugherty, who grew up in Black Mountain, North Carolina, and played college basketball at the University of North Carolina, was passionate about racing growing up, in addition to basketball.
When asked about both a Black man and a woman in Jodi Geschickter winning the race as owners, Stenhouse said: “We’ve got a lot of diversity on our race team throughout the garage, and it’s cool to have two on our race team and put them in Victory Lane here at the Daytona 500.
“It’s super special, and NASCAR is leading the way in a big way. It’s cool to play a small part of getting them to Victory Lane.”