Gaughan, 36, is the 2002 Truck Series rookie of the year and competed fulltime in the Nationwide Series in 2009 and 2010, earning one pole and 17 top-10 finishes in 71 career starts. He finished ninth in the 2009 series standings and 11th in 2010.
"The last few years, I have been racing for teams that try to buy their engineering or equipment from organizations as great as RCR, but doing that is never the same as racing for RCR," said Gaughan. "I have always steered away from switching to a part-time schedule in the past but I had to look at where I would have the best opportunity to win races again and the opportunity to race for Richard Childress is one I couldn't pass up."
Gaughan's Nationwide and Truck Series races will be sponsored by South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, with the exception of two Nationwide events which will be sponsored by Menards.
The Las Vegas native's 18-race schedule will kick-off with the Truck Series event at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and includes visits in both series to his home track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Gaughan's Nationwide Series events include races at Iowa Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway among others.
His Truck Series line-up includes events at Texas Motor Speedway, where he is a four-time winner, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and others, as well as the 2012 season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.
"Brendan is a proven race winner and champion so we're excited to have him driving for RCR," said team owner Richard Childress. "He will be a great addition to RCR's overall driver lineup as we re-launch our NASCAR Nationwide Series program and continue the strength of our Camping World Truck Series program in 2012."
RCR said the complete crew chief and remaining driver lineup for the No. 33 Nationwide team and the No. 2 Truck team will be announced at a later date.