Meet the owners
Tad & Jodi GeschickterTad’s Date of Birth: September 26, 1962
Tad’s Hometown: Lorton, Va.
Jodi’s Date of Birth: July 9
Jodi’s Hometown: Knoxville, Tenn.
Residence: Stanfield, N.C.
The Daytona 500 on February 15, 2009, was a defining moment for JTG Daugherty Racing’s husband and wife team Jodi and Tad Geschickter. After 15 years of owning a successful NASCAR Nationwide Series team, their aspirations of owning a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team finally became a reality when Marcos Ambrose strapped into his No. 47 Little Debbie® Toyota Camry for his first Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
It was a day Tad admits he thought may never happen because of the trials and tribulations experienced to keep the company alive and growing. Tad, along with his wife Jodi, started the organization in 1994 with sponsor support from Sunoco. They had a few tools and a barn with dirt floors housing three cars, two engines and five employees.
With a small staff, the two quickly learned the ins and outs of the business intimately through the years. They pulled show cars, built shocks, worked on the pit crew, painted and decaled cars themselves to help the company prosper. Their hard work, dedication and support from their partners led them to the pinnacle of the sport.
JTG Daugherty Racing was one of the most tenured teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. By the end of 2009, Jodi and Tad’s team amassed three wins, six pole awards, 29 top-five and 103 top-10 finishes with drivers, such as, Marcos Ambrose, Rich Bickle, Kelly Bires, Stacy Compton, Mike Dillon, Ron Hornaday Jr., Mark Green, Andy Lally, Kevin Lepage, Jimmie Johnson, Phil Parsons, Robert Pressley, Jeff Purvis, and Jon Wood.
2008 was a significant year for JTG Daugherty Racing. In April, Tad was introduced to five-time NBA All-Star Brad Daugherty by Pressley, who was a longtime friend of the two. Learning of Daugherty’s same passion for racing and knowing his history in the sport, the Geschickters formed a partnership with him and renamed the team JTG Daugherty Racing. Tad was great in the boardroom with securing sponsors and now he added someone that played at a championship level to coach the team on becoming champions. At the same time, it put a celebrity face with the organization.
With Daugherty behind their efforts, the Geschickters knew it was time to take the next step. With limited resources, they fielded a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry with Marcos Ambrose in the illustrious Allstate 400 at The Brickyard. Ambrose qualified 24th and finished 22nd in his first visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The future was bright for Tad and Jodi’s team and in October 2008, they formed a technical alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing to aid in the transition to compete full-time with Toyota Camrys in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The partnership proved successful as the team rounded out the year 18th in the championship standings with Ambrose.
The Geschickters have accomplished a great deal in racing, but Tad did not set out to be a NASCAR team owner years ago. He was planning to be a high school coach and teacher until Procter & Gamble hired him. He started out as a sales representative and ended his decade long tenure in a unit sales manager position. During that time, Tide was a sponsor of a car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. With his wife Jodi being intrigued with the NASCAR program and both having a passion for the sport, they settled in Charlotte to become fully integrated by starting a team of their own.
Brad DaughertyDate of Birth: October 19, 1965
Hometown: Black Mountain, N.C.
Residence: Asheville, N.C.
Brad Daugherty, who was an all-American basketball player at North Carolina and a five-time NBA All-Star, had a love for more than just basketball growing up. His other lifelong passion was racing.
Today, Daugherty is co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing along with Tad and Jodi Geschickter. Last year was his first full season as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owner. During that time, Daugherty coached Marcos Ambrose as he showcased his talent with strong performances including his runner-up finish at Watkins Glen International and a third-place finish at Infineon Raceway. Daugherty was obviously impressed with the road course finishes, but he was also pleased with the top-five finishes Ambrose earned at places like Bristol Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. The No. 47 team went on to finish 18th overall in the championship standings.
Daugherty developed a passion for racing while growing up in Black Mountain, N.C. His father and uncles built hot rods and drag racers and raced them locally. Daugherty and his family seemed to always to be working on cars. In 1977 at age 12, Daugherty visited Daytona International Speedway. It was a day he would never forget that fueled his desire to make a name for himself in racing.
Fast forward to the summer of 1985, where Daugherty met longtime friend Robert Pressley at New Asheville Speedway. Daugherty completed his basketball career at the University of North Carolina and was the NBA first overall draft pick in 1986. Pressley had an interest in the game of basketball and Daugherty had a deep interest in racing. It was the beginning of a strong friendship and partnership as Daugherty co-founded a Late Model race team with Pressley. Daugherty’s race team competed in the NASCAR Winston Racing Series, Mid-Atlantic Region, winning the regional championship in 1987 and 1988 with Pressley behind the wheel. Next, Daugherty wanted to try his hand on another level and the next year he advanced his organization to the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
On August 12, 1989, at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C., Pressley delivered Daugherty’s first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory as a team owner. In addition, Pressley posted one top-five and three top-10s in 19 starts that season. Daugherty also co-owned a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team (Liberty Racing) featuring such drivers as Kevin Harvick and the late Kenny Irwin Jr. In 1997, Irwin won two races (Homestead-Miami Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway).
Not only has Daugherty had his fair share of success in NASCAR, but he made his mark in basketball and was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in May 2001. Daugherty played eight seasons in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The seven-foot center averaged 19 points and 9.5 rebounds a game in his career. His No. 43 jersey was retired by the Cavs in 1997.
Daugherty’s basketball career took off after joining the Tar Heels as a 16-year-old freshman. He was a two-time All-ACC player and a first-team All-America in his senior year, when he averaged 20.2 points and 9 rebounds per game.
Daugherty is not only known for his basketball and racing careers, but he is widely known for his work with ABC and ESPN. From 1999 through 2001, he served as a college basketball sideline reporter and analyst covering the ACC telecasts. Before coming to ESPN, Daugherty served as a game analyst for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers from 1996-1998 on the Hometown 43/Cavaliers Television Network. In that time, he also worked as an analyst for the San Antonio Spurs.
After calling college hoops, Daugherty was interested in trying his hand covering NASCAR. He was a familiar face in the garage with an extensive background in racing. Being the world’s biggest racing fan and having a good relationship with ESPN, it made sense. Today, Daugherty continues his work as an analyst for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series and is a regular on other ESPN programs.
Gordon SmithDate of Birth: June 6, 1969
Hometown: Torrance, CA
During his high school and college days, Gordon Smith began his career as a deckhand\diver in1984 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Colorado State University in 1992.
Due to an untimely death of his father, Smith became president of the family businesses in 1992. In 2001, through a merger of all the family entities Gordon became the controlling owner and President of Smith Maritime, Ltd in 2001 through 2007. In 2002, Smith partnered with Bob Dorn and Wayne Sundberg to form Sirius Maritime LLC and was Vice President of Operations until the acquisition of those companies in 2007. Since the acquisition, Smith has served as President-Pacific Region for K-Sea Transportation from August 2007 to July 2011, and more recently served as President-Pacific Region for Kirby Offshore Marine from July 2011 to May 2013. Smith currently holds the COB\President position with Hyak Maritime from March 2012. He has more than 25 years of experience in project and program management in the maritime industry.
Smith is currently a trustee for the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, a board member with the Pacific Aviation Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii and a member of the Young Presidents Organization. He holds a certificate and license as a commercial helicopter pilot, airline transport pilot and 500 G.T. Master of Towing Vessels.
Gordon was introduced to the NASCAR garage in late 2012. He started learning about the industry and about a year later decided he wanted to make a vested interest in the sport and started leasing engines to a smaller team. As the 2015 season came to a close and it became apparent that the new NASCAR Charter system would be put in place, there was a shuffling of teams and car owners, each trying to secure a Charter.
It was at this time that Smith developed a deeper connection with Tad and Jodi Geschickter and in 2016 he officially took an ownership stake in what is now known as JTG Daugherty Racing in NASCAR’s premier series. The team will expand from one to two cars at the start of the 2017 season at Daytona International Speedway.