Joey Gase has made a major change to his NASCAR Xfinity Series team before heading to the track for the first time. He has joined forces with Patrick Emerling and will change Joey Gase Racing into Emerling-Gase Motorsports.
The driver-owner announced the news on Thursday, December 30 with a press release. Gase noted that the team will run full-time in the No. 35 entry and part-time with a second car. He did not provide the number for this second vehicle but revealed that the No. 35 will receive the 2021 points from the No. 23 Our Motorsports entry. Gase will share driving duties with Emerling and Shane Lee. There will also be other drivers that the team announces at a later date.
“I am very excited to be teaming up with Patrick on this new adventure,” Gase said in a statement. “We both share the same vision and goals for the future, and we are both true racers at heart. The other cool thing is that we will be two of the youngest owners in the sport, but still have a lot of experience and knowledge to go with that.”
Emerling Is Fresh off a Winning Season in a Different Series
While Gase primarily ran in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021, Emerling competed in a different series. The New York native started all 14 races in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season with 11 top-10 finishes and nine top-fives. Emerling also reached Victory Lane at Stafford Motor Speedway, New York International Raceway Park, and Riverhead Raceway.
Emerling, who has 11 years of experience in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, also made limited starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2021. He ran three races for Our Motorsports in the No. 23, posting a best finish of 24th at Kansas Speedway.
“It was interesting how this team came about as Joey and I had the same goals of starting a NASCAR XFINITY Series team,” said Emerling. “We combined our equipment to field a competitive car full time, and I am very excited to see what the future holds for Emerling-Gase Motorsports”.
Lee, by comparison, has not started an Xfinity Series race since the 2019 season, but he has 20 total starts. He ran 13 races for Richard Childress Racing in 2018 with three top-10s and a fourth-place finish at Kansas Speedway. He made seven starts in 2019 for H2 Motorsports and added another top-10 finish to his stat line.
Gase Revealed His Foray Into Ownership After the Season
Gase first announced that he was forming an Xfinity Series team after the regular season came to an end. He issued a press release on November 18 and confirmed that he had purchased equipment and cars from H2 Motorsports and that he already had five cars in his possession.
Gase revealed at the time that the plan was to run full-time in the Xfinity Series during the 2022 season with Rick Bourgeois as the general manager. He confirmed that he would be one of the drivers of the No. 35 entry but added that there would be more additions in the future.
“I am extremely excited to start a new chapter in my career and life,” Gase said in a statement on November 18. “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, Bobby Dotter, Carl Long, Archie St. Hilaire and Rick Ware. 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.”