In Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Joey Gase was involved in a violent wreck that resulted in him being taken to hospital. On Thursday, NASCAR cleared him for competition in the upcoming weekend’s Cup and Xfinity Series races at Talladega Superspeedway. Gase will drive the #52 Chevrolet Camaro in Saturday’s Xfinity event for Jimmy Means Racing before rejoining Rick Ware Racing and the #53 Camaro for the Cup race the next day.
On lap 93 of the Vegas race, Gase’s car lost its left-rear wheel after the hub came off. As he drove into turn two, the car spun into the outside wall, slamming the barrier and sending him airbourne. He was hospitalised for evaluation before being released later in the day and returned to Charlotte, North Carolina for further checkups.
“After undergoing further evaluation in Charlotte, NC, Joey Gase has been cleared to compete at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend,” read a statement from RWR. “Gase will run a double-header weekend, competing Saturday in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Sunday in the NASCAR Cup Series. We applaud the NASCAR Medical staff for their help and guidance in taking the necessary steps to ensure Joey’s safe return. The safety measures that have been put in place to keep the Drivers and Teams safe, speaks volumes following this past weekends wreck.”
Las Vegas was Gase’s twelfth Cup start of the 2021 season, all with RWR. His best finish on the year is twentieth in the season-opening Daytona 500, and he has two top-twenty runs at Talladega in 2018 and 2019. He has raced part-time in the Cup Series since 2014.
In the Xfinity Series, Gase has two starts in 2021 with SS-Green Light Racing and Means, the latter of whom he drove for on a full-time basis from 2014 to 2017. In 2015, he scored his first career top five when he placed fifth at Talladega, and he added a pair of top tens at sister superspeedway Daytona in 2017.
Although his Cup starts greatly outnumber his Xfinity runs for 2021, he is eligible to run the latter’s race as he had switched to Xfinity points prior to the spring Talladega date in April. NASCAR rules prohibit those running in the Cup standings from entering Xfinity playoff rounds.
“Happy to say I am APPROVED to race this weekend! Huge thanks to NASCAR and the different Medical teams for their help and guidance in taking the necessary steps,” posted Gase on social media. “Also huge thanks to the team for building a safe race car. Can’t wait to race my Sparks Energy cars!”