Joey Gase is now a JGR driver. Sort of.
While the “JGR” abbreviation is synonymous with NASCAR powerhouse Joe Gibbs Racing, Gase has actually started his own team with his initials: Joey Gase Racing. On Thursday, he announced he will drive the #35 Chevrolet Camaro full-time for his operation in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2022.
“I am extremely excited to start a new chapter in my career and life,” said Gase. “To not only be a driver, but also a team owner, this is something I have been thinking about a lot the last few years. When I asked other team owners and mentors I expected to get a lot of push back saying not to, but to my surprise I got a lot of the opposite.
“I have learned a lot the past 10 years and have worked with a lot of great people from Jimmy Means (owner of Jimmy Means Racing), Bobby Dotter (SS-Green Light Racing), Carl Long (MBM Motorsports), Archie St. Hilaire (Go Fas Racing) and Rick Ware (Rick Ware Racing). They have all taught me a ton and have helped me every step of the way. It is not going to be easy by any means but I have a big support team behind me with my family and friends.”
Gase competed full-time in the Xfinity Series from 2014 to 2019, scoring three top tens and a career-best fifth at Talladega in 2015. He moved up to the Cup Series in 2020 on a regular basis, though he declared for Xfinity points. In 2021, he ran sixteen Cup races for Ware and five at the Xfinity level with SS-Green Light and Means. Much of his Xfinity career was spent with Means.
The team has five cars and acquired the remaining assets from Shane Lee. Lee’s cars previously came from H2 Motorsports, a short-lived Xfinity team for whom Lee raced in 2019 before being shutdown after owner Matt Hurley ran into legal trouble.
“Glad to see @JoeyGaseRacing taking over our racing inventory from us and looking forward to what he does with his new team,” tweeted Lee. “Im even going to try and run a few races for him! Looking forward to it”.
Amusingly, Gase’s announcement means there are two JGRs in the Xfinity Series. The series also has a pair of teams called SHR with Stewart-Haas Racing and Sam Hunt Racing, fittingly also a case of the former being a top organisation while the latter is a relatively new single-car operation.