Gaughan, 45, entered this season planning to step away from NASCAR competition after running the Cup Series’ four superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega in 2020 with Beard Motorsports.
His summer break was disrupted in July when Gaughan tested positive for COVID-19 and experienced mild symptoms, which required him to complete a quarantine period.
Also during that time, NASCAR decided to add a race to the Cup schedule on the Daytona International Speedway road course to replace one it dropped at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International due to the pandemic.
With Gaughan’s road-racing background, Beard Motorsports decided to add the race to its schedule and the team will compete in Sunday’s Go Bowling 235. Gaughan has since received two negative covid test results and has been medically cleared to compete.
“I feel fantastic. I’m finally out of the house. The toughest part of the whole ordeal was the mental aspect,” Gaughan said. “I truly feel for people who struggle with depression and have to deal with COVID-19, because this thing is tough. You literally get stuck in a location by yourself.
“Fortunately for me, I had my puppy. I missed my two children tremendously. But it’s amazing now because we live in the age of the “Jetsons” that we can pick up a phone and look at their…