Mark Beard, owner of part-time NASCAR Cup Series team Beard Motorsports, has died. He was 72.
Beard Motorsports announced the news on Twitter via a statement.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Mark Beard Sr., president of Beard Motorsports,” the team said in a statement. “Mark was passionate about racing and the businesses he built with his family, and even though he will be terribly missed, his work ethic and kind heart lives on with the many people he influenced.
“While the family requests privacy at this time, they want to reaffirm Beard Motorsports’ commitment to compete in this year’s Daytona 500, where the team will race in Mark’s honor.”
A cause of death was not released.
Beard Motorsports is entering the Daytona 500 with its No. 62. Noah Gragson will attempt to make his Cup debut in the car.
The team has competed the past four seasons on a part-time basis with Brendan Gaughan, predominantly at the superspeedways. In 17 starts with the team, Gaughan scored four top 10s before retiring at the end of last year.
Prior to Gaughan’s tenure with the team, Beard attempted a pair of races in 2014 with Clay Rogers, failing to qualify for both.
Mark Beard himself was also a driver, competing in two Xfinity races in 1982 and 1986, both for his own team. His best finish was at Daytona International Speedway in 1982.
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Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.