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|
|2||Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
|13||Martin Truex Jr.|
|21||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|