JTG Daugherty Racing will be forced to field the No. 37 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE – driven by third-year driver Ryan Preece — as an open entry in the NASCAR Cup Series this season, after the organization was unable to secure a charter for their second entry.
On SiruisXM NASCAR Radio Tuesday Night, Brad Daugherty told Brad Gillie that the organization was originally going to try and buy a charter for the No. 37 car ahead of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, later adding that the organization does have the ability to purchase a charter right now.
The five-time NBA All-Star went on to talk about the current state of the system, saying “the process is somewhat not where it needs to be with the charter system.”
On tonight's #LateShift, @JTGRacing co-owner, @BradDaugherty43 talked with his co-host, @BradGillie about what happened with the number 37 car, and how the team ended up as an open team for the 2021 season.@TeamChevy | #NASCAR | @RyanPreece_ pic.twitter.com/cC471ymo9e
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) February 3, 2021
“With that being said, we backed out of the charter bidding and decided that we have 24 races sold anyway, lets run those races,” continued Daugherty. “We’re pretty confident that we can sell the rest of the races, if need be.”
In addition to the 24 races sold, Daugherty says that Ryan Preece’s No. 37 Chevrolet will “probably” run at least 26 races, just so the organization can see where they stand in terms of qualification for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Running as an unchartered entry means that Preece will have to either race his way into the DAYTONA 500 by being the top-finishing open entry in his qualifying race, or have one of the top-two qualifying speeds of the drivers that can’t advance through their qualifying race.
Making the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway will be crucial for the organization, as the 40-car field for the second and third events of the season – at Daytona RC and Homestead-Miami — will be decided by a mix of 2020 and 2021 NCS Owner Points. The top-two open entries in NASCAR Cup Series Owner Points from last season – which Preece has none of — will be awarded a position in the field, with the final two spots being awarded to the top-two open entries in 2021 NCS Owner Points.
In 2017, Premium Motorsports sold the charter from the organization’s No. 62 to Todd Braun, who then struck a deal with Furniture Row Racing to use the charter that season. The following year, Braun brought the charter to JTG Daugherty Racing, where it was applied to the No. 37 Chevrolet.
According to Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports, the agreement between JTG and Braun was for a three-year period, with both parties eventually deciding to terminate the agreement following the 2020 season. That charter is now believed to be in the possession of Spire Motorsports’ No. 77.
Daugherty said basically deal for the 37 charter was for three years of JTG ownership (much like a lease since Braun able to execute some rights as part of JTG's purchase) and then "we both walked away and that's fine." (my aside: that charter now belongs to Spire). (2/3)
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) January 29, 2021
With the debut of the NextGen Car scheduled for 2022, the freedom of not having to run every NASCAR Cup Series event in 2021 allows JTG Daugherty Racing to evaluate their options and figure out how they want to go forward, in 2022 and beyond.
Both Daugherty and Preece have echoed the same level of confidence in the vehicles they put on the track, to where both the team owner and driver feel as though it shouldn’t be a major obstacle for the team.