Site icon Birdies and Burnouts

Organ Donation a Driving Force Behind Gase’s Pursuit of Success

Photo Credit:

Joey Gase is a likable driver. A hardworking, Midwestern family man, Gase has paid his dues racing for smaller teams in Cup, Xfinity, and Trucks, and now owns his own team in the Xfinity Series, Emerling-Gase Motorsports. Gase hopes that his on-track prowess will continue to attract new and exciting sponsors to the sport, as his ability to get track time depends greatly on sponsors (more on that below), as well as garner the attention of the powerhouse teams and lead to the possibility of a Sunday Cup ride once again. The interview below is only a brief look at Gase’s career, but highlights many of the reasons why he is a driver you can root for, including his rise through the ranks, changes he would make to the sport if he was in charge, and the impact that organ donation has had in shaping his life and career.

Joey Gase and his dad Bob. Photo Credit:

Q: Where are you originally from, and how did you become involved in racing?

A: I’m originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and I got involved in racing because of my dad, Bob. He raced before I did, but just at the local short track level.

Q: How old were you when you first began racing?

A: I grew up watching him (his dad) ever since I was born. But I first started racing go-karts when I was eight years old and then started to race my dad’s old car, which was an open-wheel modified, when I turned 14.

Joey Gase racing a modified. Photo Credit:

Q: Walk me through the different series that you raced in early on; what are the major differences between each of those?

A: A go-kart is mostly a go-kart, I guess {laughter}, but a modified is a full size car. And they’re very popular on the dirt side of the sport all over the United States, but especially the Midwest, and it was kind of more of an IMCA-style modified. We raced it on the asphalt just because the only track – our hometown of Cedar Rapids has the only asphalt track in the state of Iowa. So that’s just where we grew up racing at because it was right there. But it’s a great track and I learned a lot at it. And a lot of people, you know, really good racers have raced there as well. From Jimmie Johnson, JJ Yeley, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Kenny Schrader, and the list goes on. But when I turned 15, I started racing late models, and when I was 16, I was the youngest ever to win the track championship at Hawkeye Downs in the late model class. And then, you know, I still continue to race a lot of late models. But I started to race out east more for a development team, and then some K&N stuff and some ARCA stuff. And by the time I was 18, I made my first Xfinity Series start, although then it was the Nationwide Series, at Iowa Speedway.

Q: Did you play any other sports growing up? Or were you just strictly auto racing?

A: When I was younger, I played pretty much anything and everything, from soccer, football, basketball, baseball. But once I got into high school, when I started racing full-time cars, I basically focused just on racing.

Q: Do you think having that background in different sports helps you as an athlete?

A: I definitely don’t think it hurts. You know, I think playing any kind of sport and playing multiple sports is always a bonus for sure.

Q: You’ve raced in both the Xfinity Series and Cup Series. You’ve raced for a lot of different teams, a lot of smaller teams. We’re not going to go through every single one of them because we’d be here all day at that point, but walk me through some of the different teams you’ve raced for. How did these partnerships come about?

A: Yeah, I’ve raced for a good amount of teams coming into the series. I actually got my first start in Nationwide for Go Fas Racing and kept going between Go Green and Go Fas, but Archie St. Hilaire was the owner. And when we first started at Iowa, it was really cool. And you know, Iowa absolutely packed the place, and we finished 20th, which was better than what our expectations were. It was actually the team’s third best finish at that point. So we do my first race and to get their third best finish was really cool. The following year, I started off the season with them again, and then I ended the season with Jimmy Means Racing. And that really started a really good and long relationship with Jimmy. I raced almost full-time for him in 2013, and then 2014 through 2017 I raced for him full-time in the Xfinity Series. And we were able to accomplish a lot of things that I don’t think a lot of people expected us to do. At that point, it was pretty much a start and park team and I only raced every once in a while. And then I started to drive for Jimmy and we started making more and more races, which was great. And when as you’re able to do that, we’re able to get more and more sponsorship to becoming a full-time team and a team that was always able to stay in the top 30 in Owner Points and a team that was able to race every race, which was great. And I learned a lot with Jimmy and I always say that I feel like Jimmy saved my career. So that was a great partnership. And the coolest thing we were able to do was finish fifth at Talladega. That day, we barely made the race and we started pretty much last and finished fifth, which was really cool. And NASCAR made us the top story of the race, which was awesome. And then in 2018 I went and drove for a group effort between Archie St. Hilaire and Bobby Dotter in Xfinity. And then the next year with Carl Long and then the year after that I was pretty much full time for Rick Ware Racing in the Cup Series up until now.

Emerling-Gase Motorsports. Photo Credit:

Q: So that’s going to bring us up to this year. You’re going to be fielding your own Xfinity team next year, correct?

A: Yep.

Q: Walk me through that process. What made you decide to start your own team? What sort of steps do you have to go through to get a brand new team launched off the ground?

A: A ton of stuff. {Laughter} We are definitely learning as we go. But last year, we were able to do two races with our own car. The last one being at Talladega in the fall, and luckily that went really well for us. We were in the top 10 a lot up in the race and we ended up finishing in 15th when we had to work our way back up after having to pit from a flat tire and literally running out of daylight. But as a driver, I was disappointed because I know we could have done much better than that if we were able to finish out the race, but at the same time as a car owner, I was really happy with the 15th place finish and a car in one piece. But after doing those two races, I’ve definitely learned a lot on what it takes and the cost and expenses and all of that. So it was great to be able to get our feet wet on that before we went and did this. And there’s two great teams that were able to help us do that last year. With not having qualifying, you basically have to use another team’s number or you wouldn’t be able to come race because it was full field every weekend and there was no qualifying. So the first time was with SS-Green Light and the second time was with Jimmy Means Racing, which was a really cool reunion. It was my car, but we used all of their equipment and a lot of their people. So to be able to go back and race for Jimmy and have that partnership and see how I’ve grown, it was really fun and really cool to be able to go back and work with Jimmy and contend again at Talladega. But fast forwarding now to going into next season, we were able to buy a lot of the assets and cars from H2 Motorsports and from Shane Lee, which was a team in 2019. And they had a lot of issues and some not good things happen over there. But we were able to take advantage of that and get a lot of really good equipment and really good cars for a good price. And the other positive from that is now Shane and I have become good friends and I think we’ll see Shane Lee actually drive for us a good amount next season as well, which is great.

Joey Gase and Shane Lee. Photo Credit:

Q: So Shane’s going to be driving for you. I’m assuming you’re going to be driving some races as well. Is there anybody else lined up currently? Or is it still kind of to be announced?

A: To be announced, but as of right now, a lot of it’s going to look like it’s going to be Shane and I, but there will probably be some other drivers coming in as well. But, you know, we’re definitely looking forward to it. And in some ways, we’re definitely behind other teams at this point. But in a lot of ways, we’re actually ahead of the ball as well. You know, I think we’re going to be possibly taking two cars down for Speedweeks. Most of the year, we’re only going to be planning on racing one car, but at Daytona, I think we’re actually going to be racing two cars and both of those cars are really far along, and the one car’s pretty much just strap a motor in and she’s race ready, and the other car’s not too far behind that as well.

Q: What sort of expectations have you set for yourself as a team owner for this first year? Do you have like a list that you’re trying to check off? Or is it just kind of see what happens and go from there?

A: A little bit of both. You know, the first goal is definitely to make every race and qualify into every race. And then after that, try to finish every race we can. If we can do those two things, the rest will take care of itself. I think we could have a really good season. But, you know, that’s definitely our goal, to make it through the whole season and see where we end up at the end. But if we can do all those things we should have, I think, a really good year.

Q: As a driver, what’s your favorite type of track to race on?

A: Definitely a short track guy, for sure. You know, I absolutely love Martinsville and Phoenix and Richmond and Iowa Speedway, those are by far some of my favorite tracks. But at the same time, I really like the superspeedways as well. The superspeedway, you know, it’s the big equalizer for the little guys, which is great. And it gives you an opportunity to go out there and get a really good finish, and possibly even win. A lot of these other tracks, you just don’t normally have that opportunity, which is great.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about driving?

A: Oh man, there’s a lot of different things. You know, it’s something that I’ve always, always loved and always wanted to do. And I’ve been driving something since I was four years old. But, you know, the competition and adrenaline and I don’t know, you can just go off in your own little world when you go out on the racetrack. And pretty much everything else goes away, which is, you know, a great feeling. And I don’t know, it’s hard to explain I guess, and I think probably every driver is different. But I would say probably almost every driver will say that, you know, once you put the helmet on and you’re in the car, you’re definitely in a different world.

Q: What’s the week of a race like? Walk me through how you guys prepare as a driver versus preparing the car. Just the whole experience that leads up to race day.

A: Yeah, you know, for me, I’ve always been a very hands on driver. I get pretty much all my own sponsors and take care of all my own sponsors. So, even before I owned my own team, there’s a lot more that went into it than just showing up and driving the racecar, for sure. From getting the sponsors to handling the sponsors to figuring out what the sponsors want for you to car appearances. Making sure the car looks like what they want and for a lot of the teams I raced for, I actually was the one that would apply the graphics to the racecar. Then when you get to the race weekend, it was kind of when the fun part of it was able to start, where you went in the racecar. But there’s a bunch of things you can do to prepare for the race as a driver, from obviously hydrating like on this hot weekend and normally during the week. I don’t really race on Sunday, Sunday is my cheat day. And then Monday is my cheat day if I raced on Sunday. I don’t drink any caffeine or any soda leading up to the race normally, except on those days, and it’s pretty much like water, milk and juices. And on the other side of things, you know, especially at the superspeedways, but any race you can watch film and kind of see how the race was developed and which lines worked well, and what other people were doing that worked well that maybe other people weren’t doing and seeing when cautions normally happened. Things like that are really big as well. And you can use iRacing as a tool. Some tracks are more realistic than others. But you can do all that as well. You know, the big teams have the opportunity to go on a really, really big simulator that’s much more realistic than iRacing. And they, the driver, they get to do multiple things on there, which unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to do. But as far as learning the tracks, they can actually make adjustments to the car that transpired to what they may do in an actual race or the setup of the car, which is really cool, which hopefully someday we will have the same opportunity to do that as well. But as a team owner, there’s a ton of stuff that goes into it. You’ve got to think of logistics of getting the car there, getting the car and the equipment and the teams ready. Each track has its own different things you have to get ready, prepared. And what we like to do as a team, NASCAR actually gives you the opportunity to go to a Hawkeye, which is the same thing you go through at the track to test to make sure the body and the wheelbase and the toe and tread width and all that stuff is right. So hopefully when you get to the track, you can slide right through. We go to what’s called a Pull Down, which simulates the load that you will receive at that racetrack to hopefully make sure you start in a good handling spot when you get to the racetrack. And you check the chassis to make sure everything’s all good there. And a whole bunch of other things that I’m sure I’m missing as well.

Q: You mentioned how you prepare with a lot of water, you don’t drink a lot of soda, you only eat certain things; what kind of exercises you do to stay in shape physically?

A: Yeah, we do a bunch of different things. And I’ll be honest, I think the thing that gets you in shape the most for driving a racecar is driving a racecar. But the other thing that I do is I work out with Hunter Smith at FitStop Performance and he’s really good. He works with a lot of different drivers on making sure they’re ready for any type of racing that they’re doing. And each track takes a different thing too. I would say definitely the most brutal track race is definitely Bristol and Dover. You don’t get a lot of breaks there and the g’s are really high. But you know, we do a lot of different things that work on our forearms or work on our neck to work on mobility and endurance, but every track has something different. Like when we go to say Martinsville or Phoenix or Richmond, your legs will feel like they’re about ready to fall off after the race because your braking is just so high there and depending on what brake package you have, the pedal can be really hard to push. Then when you go to places like Bristol or Dover, your arms are like they’re about ready to fall off. So each track is definitely something different that you have to be ready and prepared for, for sure.

Q: What about the mental side of the sport? How do you keep yourself mentally sharp for race day?

A: Yeah, you know, the mental side is something that’s huge and, you know, really most important, but I don’t know. Some drivers I think just automatically have it. You know, once the helmet goes on that switch goes on. But we do a lot of different things with Hunter as well that gets us ready mentally and in working on reflexes and all that kind of stuff as well.

Q: Anytime it’s like race day, tournament day, whatever the case may be, people tend to shift into the zone so that when it’s go time they’re ready to go. What is your own personal zone like when it’s time to race?

A: You know, I don’t know, I try to stay relaxed for the most part as much as I can and not overthink things, but I definitely don’t like to be bothered too much. But that’s definitely a hard thing at this level because you’re going to have to go take care of sponsors and do your sponsor appearances and all those kinds of things, or you’re not going to be at this level. So that’s definitely something that you just have to get used to. You know, and now I have kids, which is actually really great. They definitely keep you more relaxed, I guess you would say, and keep you loose and having them on the pre-race grid is always great. And they always want to sit down in the car, which is really cool.

Q: They showed during the broadcast of some of the races this year that drivers were wearing Whoop Bands, showing their heart rates and all of their other vitals during the course of a race. If you put one of those on, would you have a high heart rate while racing or do you stay pretty mellow?

A: I think every driver’s heart rate goes up. I get up there for sure. You know, I used to have one that would record everything live and I think the highest I ever got was like 170 or 180. But a lot of that also has to do with the heat too and everything else going on. But no, I think every driver’s heart rate goes up pretty high during a race for sure.

Q: You mentioned the impact of having sponsors. Would you want to give a shout out to some of your main sponsors, and also talk about how companies can get in touch with you if they would like to sponsor you?

A: We’re very lucky and privileged to have as many sponsors as we do. It’d be nice to have one big one, but we have a ton of sponsors. And at the end of the year, I always try to have every sponsor on the car as a thank you for the final race. And I think we had 60 different sponsors on the car, which was, you know – you forget how many you have and how many it really takes to make all this possible. But some of our biggest sponsors are Spark Energy, Eternal Fan, especially all of our Donate Life partners, which is a different partner every state we go to, and we definitely couldn’t do it without them. And many, many others. Adkins Automotive. The list goes on for forever, but we definitely cannot do it without each and every one of those guys. If a company is interested in sponsoring me for a race or for a season, please reach out to me at to discuss sponsorship rates.

Q: Let’s say they make you the president of NASCAR. You can make any changes you want to the sport at any level, it doesn’t matter what it is. What would you do first?

A: Ah, you know, I think we would definitely go to more short tracks for sure. We’d definitely get back to Iowa Speedway and places like that, I think that would be something we would do for sure. And I think I would maybe do something a little bit different with, you know, how you make the race and things like that. Maybe from having Last Chance races to maybe everyone makes the race but it only pays to finish in the top 36 or something like that, which makes absolutely everyone race and there’d be no start and parks. And I think the racing would be phenomenal that way. You know, some little things like that. And I guess if I was more prepared for this question, there’d be a lot of other things that we’d be doing as well. You know, I think it’d be cool too – I think Daytona and Talladega and tracks like that we need to go to twice. But I think there’s a lot of tracks we only need to go to once, which I think will make the crowds bigger for those certain tracks. And at the same time, that will let us go to a more variety of tracks, as well.

Q: NASCAR has made a lot of changes to the schedule the last couple years. They’ve added in the road courses, they’ve added short tracks, a little bit of everything. What are your thoughts on all the changes to the schedule? Do you think it brings in a better variety overall? And as a driver, do you think that’s more beneficial?

A: You know, for the majority, I think a lot of what they’re doing with the schedule changes have been great. I think, in my personal opinion, is that it would be a little bit better – like last year, we actually took away the amount of short tracks and added road courses – I would have liked to have seen a little less road courses and a little more short tracks. I think that would have been great. But for the most part, they’ve been doing a really good job. You know, going to Indy for The Brickyard, which, you know, I’m a little biased on. I loved going there for just one reason, because that was the Cup Series race I always went to with my grandparents every year growing up. So that’s always special to me. But, you know, I think for going there, we need to be on the oval and not the road course. I think everyone can definitely say the Cup race and really the Xfinity race, that’s not what I think a lot of people wanted to see. And there’s been some problems, but hopefully they will get those fixed. But I do think we should go to a dirt race once a year, maybe even one street course. And that way NASCAR is literally the only sport or racing series that we can say that we literally do everything. And we can do anything, which I think is really cool to say, to be able to do that. And that accommodates everybody, right? I mean, everyone’s either on the road courses or are on the short tracks or big tracks or dirt tracks or whatever it might be, and in that way, we can accommodate each and every person at some point.

Photo Credit:

Q: So next year, NASCAR is breaking out the new Gen Seven vehicle, and they’ve been doing practices and all sorts of things along those lines. What are your thoughts on the new vehicle?

A: I’d say there’s some negatives, for sure. And then, also, some positives as well. As far as being on a smaller team normally is, you know, the costs are phenomenally more than what the current car is. The current car, you know, our teams can go get pretty much a complete racecar, minus motor and transmission, for around $50,000-ish, depending on you know, what type of car you’re trying to get in, and things like that, which is good. And we get all the hand-me-downs from the big teams, which helps the big teams because they’re getting some money back on their equipment and helps small teams because now we can just go get them that way. With the Next Gen car, it’s both a positive and unfortunate, you know, every single component on these cars minus the seats and part of the engines are brand new and they’re all spec. So with that being said, there’s no hand-me-downs to go get. So now the costs going from about $50,000 for a car for a smaller team is now going to go to $300,000 a car for everybody because it’s the same for everybody, which that’s going to be really hard for the smaller teams to survive that way. But at the same time, as we saw on the test in Charlotte, the competition is going to be the closest it’s ever been. Everyone can still do what they want setup-wise, but as far as parts and components and pieces, minus the motor, everything’s on the same ball field for the most part. Obviously, the top teams will still have more resources to figure out what they want for a setup. But as far as parts and pieces, it’s all the same, which is great as far as equalizing the field, which you definitely saw during the test. For the most part, everyone was within a half second, where normally before that everyone was within a second and a half to two seconds. So that’s definitely one good positive we are seeing from the Next Gen cars.

Q: We touched on this earlier, but how much of an impact has iRacing had on the sport?

A: I think it’s been good for the most part. I guess there’s really not any negatives you can get from it, you know, it gives more people opportunities to go out there and race, even those, you know, that can’t afford to do it with the real car. And there’s been a lot of things transferred over from iRacing to the real thing, definitely not everything like some people think, but, you know, that’s the great part of it is that it can get everyone involved. Almost anybody can or most people can afford it, which is great. And, you know, the one really cool thing that I remember when I was a kid doing iRacing is that you have the opportunity at times to race against real cup drivers. I remember being in the same races as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and stuff like that. And you know, that’s really the only sport and the only way you can do something like that. You’re not going to have the same opportunity with football and say, “Hey, I just played football with Tom Brady” or anything like that like you can with iRacing, which is really cool.

Q: Do you think NASCAR could feasibly run an international race? They have the Euro Series, they have the Pinty’s Series up in Canada. If they added, let’s say a race up in Canada to the Cup Series schedule, do you think that they could feasibly pull this off?

A: I think they definitely could. Xfinity and Trucks have raced in Mexico and Canada before, so there’s absolutely no reason why the Cup Series can’t do it. You know, the downfall racing up there is, obviously, the travel is more expensive to get there. And it takes longer to get there and that’s what the hardest thing is for the teams. Which I think when NASCAR raced in Asia and Europe for the expedition races, which was really cool, NASCAR actually paid for the travel for the teams to get there. So if NASCAR can figure out ways to do that, I definitely think it would be a huge positive to go do that. Not a lot, but every once in a while, and if they planned it out right, I think it would be something that would be really cool.

Q: NASCAR has taken a lot of steps in recent years to continue to grow the sport, bringing in a more diverse fan base, just trying to reach new areas that they hadn’t reached before. What do you think is the best way to continue to grow the sport that would continue to bring in new faces and new fans?

A: You know, I think really everything they’re doing right now has been great. I think it’s the best NASCAR has done in years on a lot of different things in bringing new fans in for sure. And at the same time, we’ve got to do what we can to make sure we don’t steer away the current fans or older fans either. I think with saying that, I think a lot of the older fans and current fans may have points on things, but at the same time, they’ve got be open to things. Sometimes the older generations don’t like something just because it’s different and it’s new. They don’t give it a chance. I think there’s some things people need to definitely give a chance on for sure. But at the same time, we’ve got to respect how things have been done for a long time, on the same point, and make sure the changes are something that need to be done and that need to happen.

Photo Credit:

Q: What are your thoughts on the SRX Series? Do you think NASCAR should try to latch on to that and turn that into something bigger?

A: I think NASCAR already does do that to some point and, obviously, it’s a lot easier for them to do because they own the cars. And it’s real racing, but at the same time, you know, it’s entertainment. Which every sport is, but they have cautions after so many laps and they’re much shorter and things like that. But they did a lot of things which were great to see, and going to these short tracks that a lot of people want to race at. Obviously, a lot of them were packed to the gills, which was great to see, and in order for the Cup Series to go to those tracks, some stands would have to be added obviously. But there’s definitely a lot of things that NASCAR could learn from that series to apply to their own over the years. And a lot of that was just having fun, for sure.

Q: So we mentioned the track changes, they changed all the schedules in NASCAR in recent years. Were there any tracks you’d like to see added to the schedule that they haven’t visited yet?

A: I think Iowa Speedway would definitely need to be added back to the schedule. North Wilkesboro. They just started to rebuild parts of that, which is awesome to see. And there’s just so many cool short tracks across the U.S. that I think would be really cool for us to go to. I think that’s something they’re working on and just like the SRX Series we were just talking about, they go and visit. I think it would be really cool to do. And I think NASCAR is working to make that stuff happen. And there’s a lot of stuff that people don’t realize that has to be done to these tracks in order for us to go race. From the TV side of things, they have requirements that have to be done, which SRX was able to make happen, which was awesome. You know, the lighting has to be right, it has to be able to hold at least a minimum of so many people. And then also on the safety side of things, which maybe aren’t as big at the short tracks but are still important, like the pit roads. We’ve got to be able to sit all the cars on the road for pit stops. We’ve got to be able to have SAFER barriers and stuff like that. So there’s a lot of different things that people don’t realize that go into it that have to be able to happen for us to go visit racetracks. But if we can make those things happen, I think it’d be awesome.

Competitors make a turn during a NASCAR exhibition auto race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Q: The Clash next year is going to be out in California, out there at The Coliseum. What do you think about that move?

A: I think as far as the entertainment side, I think it’s great to get publicity and things like that. As far as being an owner goes, I think you’re going to have the opportunity to get more sponsors for that, for sure, because it’s the LA Coliseum. As far as being an owner financially- and logistically-wise, it’s definitely going to be tough to go all the way out to California and then come all the way back and racing Daytona and then to go the West Coast again. Going back to saying these Next Gen cars are super expensive, and they’re going to get beat up for sure at that track, so that kind of thing, which the fans aren’t worried about. For the fans, I think it’s going to be great. For the owners, not so much. But I think the fans will really enjoy it. And the drivers I think will really enjoy it as well.

Q: Who do you think is the best driver in each of the three major series right now: Cup, Xfinity, Truck? You can say yourself if you want, I have no problem with that.

A: {Laughter} That’s definitely a really hard question. In the Cup Series, you’ve definitely got to say Kyle Larson right now, he’s on fire and feeling really good. The other series, I don’t really have a good answer on that right now. But, you know, it’s just a hard question in general. And another thing that I don’t think a lot of fans realize either is that there’s some really, really good drivers out there that just have never had the opportunity to be in top equipment to really show everyone how good they are. And you know, in the garage area, the people who are on smaller teams realize how good a driver is and what they’re able to do with the equipment they have to where even sometimes on big teams those guys just don’t realize it and they’re out in their own little world and just don’t understand what the drivers and the crew members and the owners go through on a small team. So it’s definitely hard to find that driver or say who really is the best because of things like that.

Q: That perfectly leads into my next question: Who do you think is the best driver out there that hasn’t gotten that big break yet? Because they’re on a smaller team or because they race in one of the lower series and haven’t even gotten up to one of the top three ranks yet?

A: You know, I would say in the Xfinity Series, there’s a bunch of really good drivers who have been there that haven’t had that chance with a top team, from Timmy Hill to BJ McLeod to you know, drivers like myself I would like to include in that category. Us three have had to race the heck out of each other and other people too in order to make it and be where we are today. I think those drivers right there are really, really good. And I think Josh Bilicki is another good one as well.

Joey Gase following a victory in the DNQ Series. Photo Credit:

Q: When you’re not racing, what do you like to do in your spare time? What kind of hobbies do you have?

A: My wife will tell you racing. I race go-karts as a hobby and have a lot of fun with that. And hopefully some day we’ll win the championship in the Dash Class in the DNQ Series, which is a series that’s ran out here and a majority of the guys that race in it are drivers and crew members in NASCAR, which is really cool and a lot of fun. But other than that, you know, I really don’t have a lot of time other than hanging out with the wife and the kids. We have Jace and Carson, who are identical twin boys and they will be turning two here in December, so they definitely take up pretty much any other time that we have, for sure. And they love racing, which is really cool and really bad at the same time. But they’re growing like crazy and they love to have fun and do everything we do which is cool.

Q: You think your kids are going to eventually make the jump into driving and you’re going to have to be the mentor to them?

A: As of right now, I would say for sure. At least something in racing, whether it’s driving to working on the cars to spotting, whatever it might be, I think they definitely will be doing that.

Q: What kind of music do you like to listen to?

A: As far as music goes, I’m not – I like music but I’m not big into it. I pretty much just listen to anything from country to hip hop to, you know, alternative music to whatever it might be. I just pretty much listen to whatever.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Photo Credit:

Q: Okay, what about TV and movies? You a big pop culture guy?

A: I love movies and stuff like that. I just don’t have time for really anything anymore. {Laughter} Honestly, pretty much the only shows we pretty much watch now is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Dino Ranch and Paw Patrol because that’s what the boys watch.

Q: Living the dream right there.

A: Yep. {Laughter}

Q: You mentioned movies of course. What’s your favorite NASCAR or auto racing movie?

A: Days of Thunder, for sure.

Q: Favorite social media platform?

A: Really just Twitter or Facebook, just for like the news side of things and you can just scroll through it easily.

Q: When you have your cheat days, what’s your favorite food?

A: Probably pizza for sure.

Q: This is a ways down the road of course, but when do you step away from racing full time, do you plan on being a full-time owner? I mean, you already have a team now, but would you work to be a full-time owner? Or would you consider broadcasting or being a crew chief? Have you given any thought to what you’d like to do a ways down the road?

A: I would say probably full-time owner for sure. And broadcasting too if that would come up, but definitely full-time owner. I plan on racing for hopefully a very long time as a driver.

Q: Do you have any Cup Series plans for 2022?

A: I’m definitely hoping and planning to be racing part-time in the Cup Series as well. I don’t know where or when that will be exactly, but a lot of that depends on sponsors and finding open rides. And we were talking about the expenses of the new cars, and that means the amount of sponsorship you need has gone up a lot as well, it’s almost doubled. So that definitely is making it a little bit more difficult, but I’m sure we’ll be in the Cup Series here and there for sure again as well next year.

Q: A major cause for you has been organ donation and a lot of your sponsors are focused on that. You use paint schemes that have a pretty deep meaning for you. I’d like to discuss the importance of that.

A: Yeah, organ donations are super important to me because of my mom. She passed away in 2011 of a sudden brain aneurysm, so it was something that was super unexpected and horrible. But when she passed away, they asked us if she’d like to be an organ donor and it was something we never really talked about before. But we knew that she could no longer continue her life, but she could help others continue theirs. So we said yes. And we found out she was able to help save and improve the lives of 66 people, which was amazing to us. And we’ve been fortunate enough to meet two recipients. So ever since then, I want to do whatever I can to help honor other donors out there and raise awareness for donation and get people to register and have that talk with their loved ones. You know, there’s over 100,000 people on the waitlist right now nationwide waiting for a life-saving organ and the need is growing and growing. So we need to do whatever we can to help with that.

Q: What advice do you have for younger racers who are looking to make their start in the sport?

A: Start at your local short tracks. You know, I did say there’s no negatives about iRacing, but I guess that would maybe be one negative is that the world in some ways, unfortunately, is getting lazier. To come race in the real world, you’ve got to race in the real world. That means on a Friday night or Saturday night not being on iRacing and actually going to a real racetrack and supporting your local racetracks, whether it’s just in the stands or if it’s helping out on a car to driving a car. There’s a lot of different classes out there and you’ve got to start at the bottom and work your way up. You’ve got to learn, and the best way of doing that is going to your local racetrack and volunteering on someone’s team. You know, everyone wants help and needs help on their cars. And that’s the one funny thing and biggest thing that has changed so much. Back when my dad raced and even when I started racing, especially when my dad raced, you could get help just because people wanted to come to work on a racecar and help out their buddies and honestly, to get free beer. To where nowadays if you want someone to help on your racecar, you almost can’t find anybody because they just don’t want to do it anymore or they have to be paid to do it. That’s definitely one small thing I would say that is definitely hurting racing as a whole, which hopefully we can get that turned around and changed.

Please note that this interview originally took place on November 26, 2021.

Exit mobile version