Promising Day Comes to a Crashing End for Iowa Rookie; Gase Finishes 27th in ARCA debut MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 12, 2010) - Realistic expectations coupled with excitement made for a great start to the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and...
Promising Day Comes to a Crashing End for Iowa Rookie; Gase Finishes 27th in ARCA debut
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 12, 2010) - Realistic expectations coupled with excitement made for a great start to the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards weekend for Spraker Racing and Iowa native Joey Gase. After running in the top-15 for most of the night, a lap 52 incident relegated Gase to a 27th-place finish in the Prairie Meadows 200 at Iowa Speedway.
Gase made his first laps in an ARCA Chevrolet Saturday morning at the first practice. He turned the 23rd fastest lap of 24.922 seconds (126.394 mph) before having motor problems. The team hurried to change the engine in time for qualifying, so the No. 37 Spraker Racing Chevrolet did not have to start at the back of the field. The Spraker Racing team missed final practice while changing the motor but finished in time to make a qualifying run. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native took to the track to qualify for his first ARCA Racing Series start. He drove his No. 37 Spraker Racing Chevrolet to the 14th starting spot with a lap of 24.151 seconds (130.429 mph).
Anxious to make his first ARCA Racing Series start and sixth start at Iowa Speedway, Gase got into his No. 37 Spraker Racing Chevrolet looking for a solid finish. Taking the green flag in 14th, the 2008 Hawkeye Downs Speedway Late Model Champion held his position for the first 15 laps. By lap 20, he was solidly in the 16th position.
The first caution flew on lap 38 and owner Jeff Spraker called the rookie down pit road for a gas-only pit stop. During the pit stop, the team made a trackbar adjustment, hoping to relieve the car's tight condition. Gase restarted the race in the 12th position. The rookie raced clean and hard and found himself in the 15th position on lap 50.
On lap 52, the second yellow flag was waved with the No. 37 Spraker Racing Chevrolet still in the 15th position. Gase radioed to the crew that the car was tight when he hit the gas in the corner and loose on exit. The Spraker Racing team elected to stay out and gain valuable track position.
When the restart came on lap 56, Gase was in the ninth position, just behind ARCA Racing Series veteran Frank Kimmel. Spraker coached his rookie to stay with Kimmel and watch his lines. Soaking up valuable experience from the nine-time ARCA Racing Series champion, Gase stayed close to the No. 44, mirroring his line. Throughout the green flag run, Gase kept up with Kimmel, although they were passed by a few cars on new tires. While running on old tires, the No. 37 Spraker Racing Chevrolet was still fast on lap 85.
Sitting solid just outside the top-10, there was contact with Gase and the lap-down car of Bobby Gerhart in turn two, resulting in major damage to the rear of the No. 37 Chevrolet. Gase pulled his Spraker Racing Chevrolet down pit road in hopes that the team could fix the damage. The damage was too severe to fix on pit road, and Gase pulled his car into the garage, relegating him to a 27th-place finish is his ARCA Racing Series debut.
"It was a lot of fun," reflected Gase. "We were running well in the top-15, top-10 most of the race. I guess a lapper booted us. It is what it is. The car was tight but we were still running as well as the guys with new tires. We were catching guys in front of us. I feel a lot more comfortable running in ARCA now."
Spraker Racing will return to the track July 30 for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East 125 at Lee USA Speedway.
-source: spraker racing