Joey Gase races in first Daytona 500

This weekend marks the weekend of the Daytona 500 - the Superbowl of Motorsport. In this article, Connor Ferguson looks at Joey Gase, and how he gained the opportunity to compete in NASCAR's biggest event.

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during the NASCAR XFINITY Series AutoLotto 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, 2016 in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Joey Gase started his racing career in the junior classes at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in 2001. When he was 16, he became the youngest ever Late Model track champion there.

Two years later he made his Xfinity Series debut and has been racing in NASCAR ever since.

But, the Daytona 500 is a new beast.

Joey Gase races in first Daytona 500

This Sunday, the Cedar Rapids native will be making his first career start in the Daytona 500 for BK Racing.

“It’s very exciting,” Gase said. “It’s something I’ve been dreamed about ever since I was a kid. I’ve watched NASCAR ever since I can remember.”

A number of years ago, Gase attended his first Daytona 500.

“I was here in the stands nine years ago just thinking how cool it was to be up close to the cars,” Gase said. “Now I’m actually racing here.”

The plans to race this weekend got underway last fall. He started talking to BK Racing Owner Ron Devine, who was interested in Gase because of how much more he has done with less.

“He [recognized] my success on the Xfinity side on the superspeedways with a very underbudget team,” Gase said.

Gase raced early in his career with Go Green Racing and has since driven for Jimmy Means Racing.
It’s no secret that they aren’t top tiered teams, but that hasn’t stopped Gase

For the team to race in the 500, they would need a sponsor, which can be hard to find for lesser known drivers.

Gase and co. found the support they needed, though as Best Home Furnishing hopped aboard for the weekend.

“It was their dream to sponsor a Daytona 500 car and it was mine to be in the Daytona 500,” Gase said. “We were able to help each other out there.”

Gase finished 15th in his Can-Am Duel qualifying race, and will start 33rd on Sunday.

Fans can watch Gase in the Daytona 500 this Sunday on Fox. The green flag will fly at 2:00 p.m. ET

Lineup for the 500

Daytona 500 Starting Lineup
Position Driver
1 Chase Elliott
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3 Jamie McMurray
4 Denny Hamlin
5 Kevin Harvick
6 Clint Bowyer
7 Brad Keselowski
8 Kurt Busch
9 Matt Kenseth
10 A.J. Allmendinger
11 Trevor Bayne
12 Austin Dillon
13 Martin Truex Jr.
14 Danica Patrick
15 Aric Almirola
16 Ryan Newman
17 Joey Logano
18 Kyle Larson
19 Cole Whitt
20 Ty Dillon
21 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
22 David Gilliland
23 Daniel Suarez
24 Michael McDowell
25 Kyle Busch
26 Jimmie Johnson
27 Matt DiBenedetto
28 Kasey Kahne
29 Chris Buescher
30 DJ Kennington
31 Landon Cassill
32 Michael Waltrip
33 Joey Gase
34 Jeffery Earnhardt
35 Corey LaJoie
36 Erik Jones
37 Paul Menard
38 Ryan Blaney
39 Brendan Gallagher
40 Elliott Sadler

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