JTG Daugherty Racing has been climbing a ladder for years now attempting to make their way to becoming a top-level NASCAR team. For years, scrounging up the leftovers of other NASCAR teams and being a midpack team at best most days. The equipment isn’t doing them any favors, but hiring drivers that never have a chance of outdriving their equipment only makes matters worse.
This past season they brought in veteran Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to replace arguably the best driver they’ve ever had behind the wheel in Chris Buescher. Their second driver, Ryan Preece was expected to be on the chopping block, due to his mediocre to bad performance. However, it’s being reported that Preece is expected to sign a contract extension.
In 2019, Chris Buescher earned 4 top tens and an average finish of 18th in the same equipment, and finished 20th in the standings. This year, Stenhouse earned 3 top fives and 4 top tens and an average finish of 23rd, and finishing 24th in the standings. Not amazing results, but what you expect out of the this team at this point.
Buescher got the most out of JTGDR while Stenhouse is getting about what you’d expect. Both were in position’s for decent finishes multiple times; Stenhouse even contended for a win at Talladega.
Preece on the other hand, only has 2 top tens on the season and an average finish of 24th. His final season standings is the real issue, with him bringing his team home 29th in the standings. Let’s be clear, Preece is not this horrid driver, but he is certainly underachieving.
Worse, he’s actually regressing after 1 top five, 3 top tens, and an average finish of 23rd in 2019. Preece’s overall performance at JTGDR has been disappointing after showing promise in the Xfinity Series in 2017 and 2018 with Joe Gibbs Racing. He seem’s to be proving that he’s only as good as his equipment. He’s not capable of outdriving it.
It’s Odd that JTGDR didn’t attempt to upgrade their driver, seeing as how they had atleast two options available to them. They had Corey LaJoie who was performing better than the likes of Matt DiBenedetto in the same equipment at Go Fas Racing. They even had Ty Dillon whose putting up equal numbers in worse equipment over at Germain Racing.
It was long assumed that Corey LaJoie was going to the #37-car after Go Fas Racing’s shutdown. After putting together slightly better stats than Matt DiBenedetto in that car, I was hoping this would be a small step to LaJoie making his slow ascension into better equipment.
Instead, he’s now being rumored to the Spire Motorsports car in 2021. A car that is sure to be worse or equal to Go Fas Racing.