Joey Gase, Ryan Truex secure Daytona 500 rides

by Justin Nguyen

Joey Gase and Ryan Truex are now in the 2019 Daytona 500 field. On Wednesday, MBM Motorsports and Tommy Baldwin Racing made separate announcements confirming Gase and Truex will respectively drive for them in February’s Monster Energy Cup Series season opener, the former also securing a full-time drive with MBM in the Xfinity Series.

“I am very excited and thankful for the opportunity Carl (Long) and MBM Motorsports is giving me this year,” Gase said in a PR release. “Every off season is stressful when you don’t know what your plans for the following season will be. This off season by far has been the most stressful of my career with some unforeseen things happening.

“One evening I was sitting in my office trying to figure out what my next move should be and then out of the blue Carl gave me a call and we talked for about two hours over the phone and now here we are. MBM Motorsports has grown and improved their program a lot over the last two years, especially the end of last season. I am very excited to be a part of that growth in 2019.”

Credit: NASCAR Hall of Fame

Gase will drive the #35 Toyota Supra for MBM’s Xfinity programme, along with a part-time Cup schedule in the team’s #66 Toyota Camry. The Iowa native contested the full 2018 Xfinity schedule with Go Green Racing, where he finished twentieth in the standings with thirteen top-twenty finishes. He also has 30 career Cup starts between 2014 and 2018 with a best finish of eighteenth at Talladega Superspeedway in the fall 2018 race.

Gase’s lone Daytona 500 start came in 2017 with BK Racing, where he finished twenty-third.

“Having an experienced driver in Joey Gase to start our season is a huge blessing,” team owner Long added. “He has worked hard to bring sponsorship to MBM. Today’s driver has to be gifted in handling a car and promotions. Lucky for us Joey is one of the best in all of NASCAR at doing both. Look for us to turn heads this year!”

Truex, who will pilot TBR’s #71 Chevrolet Camaro in the Daytona 500, qualified for the 2018 Xfinity playoffs and finished twelfth in points. His 2018 campaign with Kaulig Racing concluded with eleven top tens and a fifth-place run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. For 2019, Justin Haley will take over his Kaulig ride; beyond TBR, Truex’s future plans have not been outlined.

In 2014, Truex attempted to qualify for his only Daytona 500 start to date (coincidentally also with BKR), but failed.

“I am very thankful to TBR and Tommy Baldwin for this opportunity and can’t wait to get to Daytona and back in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car,” Truex stated in a TBR press release. “The pressure is on to make it into the race, but Tommy is a true racer, and I know he will put everything into the car to give us a great shot.”

“I’m excited to have Ryan back in a Tommy Baldwin Racing car,” Baldwin added. After dormancy in 2018, Baldwin revived his operation for the 2019 season in November“We had success at Daytona in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, in the past. I’ve known the Truex family a very long time, and it’s special that we’ll be able to compete in [the Daytona 500] together, and hopefully more races as the year goes on. We are still in search of a primary sponsor that were hoping to put together in time to give TBR a great run this year!”

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