On any given weekend during the spring and summer, you don’t have to travel far to hear the engines roar and to watch the dirt fly at a local race track. It’s a life that finds a mix of veteran drivers battling the next generation of NASCAR hopefuls where you will find Daniel Baggerly, one part Emory & Henry student and one part driver of the No.16 B&B Motorsports dirt super late model racing team.
The sophomore from Rural Retreat, Va. is majoring in business management and economics at Emory & Henry. It was racing, in fact, that led him to Emory & Henry. Located just over 35 miles away from his home, Emory & Henry was just close enough for Baggerly to work on his race car when he’s not working on his homework.
"I love it here at Emory & Henry," Baggerly said. "I knew I made the right choice during the first week into my first year. When you are at Emory & Henry, you have a family.”
Baggerly’s love for the College is well represented in his racing; just ask any of the countless drivers that have seen him speed past them on the track. Located on the driver’s side of his machine, the College's logo has garnered plenty of attention and a few extra fans on and off the track.
Baggerly is reminded of a time last season when he was racing just outside of Atlanta, Ga. After the race was over, a recent E&H graduate sought him out to say how nice it was to root for someone from his alma mater.
The idea to have the logo on the side of Baggerly’s car was actually that of his dad, Jim.
"He wanted to do it as a way to say thank you to all of the support we get from our neighbors, most of whom attended Emory," Baggerly said.
It was Jim who got Daniel started in racing. Daniel spent much of his early life going to the nearby Wythe Raceway. At the age of 10, Daniel was earning his racing stripes by washing tires. As Daniel reached high school, as was the case with many of his peers, he couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. But unlike his friends, Daniel wanted to go fast. His mom, Lauren, made a deal with him that if he could get straight As, he could try his hands at racing. So at the age of 16 (the reason his car number is 16), Baggerly began his part-time career as a race car driver.
"I've learned a lot of problem-solving through racing," Baggerly said. "Racing is like a giant puzzle and there is always something to see, something to do, and a problem to solve. We might only be turning left, but it takes a lot of work to go in a circle!"
Over his career, Baggerly has captured numerous top 5s and top 10s. “Bagz,” as he is known by most at the track, has collected five Crate Late Model Feature Victories at the Wythe Raceway since 2008. When the 2010 season came to a close, Baggerly found himself sitting fifth in the Southern All-Stars Series in overall points.
Baggerly has only run a few events for the 2011, but once the school year comes to a close the race season will shift into high gear. When it is all said and done, Baggerly estimates that he will run between 30 and 40 events.
Baggerly says his career goal is to continue improving as a driver and a crew chief while having a ton of fun. Off the race track he enjoys football, basketball and his community service work as a youth basketball coach.
You can follow Daniel Baggerly and his B&B Motorsports team online.