We’re previewing each team competing in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series before the 2021 season.
JTG Daugherty Racing
Owner: The NASCAR Cup Series race team led by Jodi and Tad Geschickter and Brad Daugherty, who’s probably the tallest NASCAR team owner ever.
No. 37: Brian Schoenburg
Hometown: Moorpark, CA
First season: 2010
2020 rank: 38th
No real surprises here, but I’m proud to be joining @JTGRacing in 2021 by driving their #47 car in the @eNASCARCocaCola Series. Also really proud to tell you my @NorseForceRL teammate @DerekJustis will be in the #37 car. Thanks to Blake Cope for the opportunity. Really fun group!
— Brian Schoenburg (@bschoon55) February 2, 2021
No. 47: Derek Justis
Hometown: Elizabethtown, KY
First season: 2021
Eighth in 2020 iRacing Pro Series
— Derek Justis (@DerekJustis) February 2, 2021
Racing is a dynamic sport, and sim racing is not immune to constant change. When JTG Daugherty Racing embarked on their 2020 campaign with Christian Challiner and Jeremy R. Allen behind the wheels of their Chevrolets, they probably couldn’t have predicted that by the end of the season they’d have to fill both drivers’ seats for 2021.
First, Allen exited the series early with a scheduled back surgery over the summer, vacating his No. 47 ride and handing the keys to Steve Sheehan. Then, at the end of the season, Challiner, who’d made the top 20 and looked poised to compete with a guaranteed spot in 2021, retired from the series — he’d accepted a job with iRacing.
As for newly-signed Brian Schoenburg, a veteran of the series, 2020 was nothing to write home about; he was one of two drivers who didn’t log a top-10 finish over the course of the season.
There’s little doubt that 2021 is a rebuilding year for JTG Daugherty Racing. The team’s attacking the series with a new driver lineup in Schoenburg and rookie (but no stranger to iRacing) Derek Justis.
Both Schoenburg and Justis were standouts in the iRacing Pro Series over the winter to earn their keep at the top level and look to continue working together to make waves on the track. Schoenburg, who’s made the third-most starts in series history, is chasing his first victory.
Steve’s bold prediction
Derek Justis may be a rookie on paper, but he’s got a ton of experience on iRacing. I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people in 2021.
As for Schoenburg, he’s had a couple of down years, but he knows how to drive; he’s finished top-half-dozen in points three times, and had a seven-top-10 season as recently as 2018. I don’t know if we see a resurgence of the BSchoon of old, but another successful run through the Pro Series — combined with a lot of fresh faces contrasting with his veteran experience — might be a recipe for better luck.
For me, put ‘em both in the top 20.