Newton, IA -- May 23, 2010 Since his 2010 schedule was finalized back in February, SS Green Light Racing's Joey Gase has looked forward to racing in front of family and friends in a NASCAR touring series race. The young driver from Cedar Rapids...
Newton, IA -- May 23, 2010 Since his 2010 schedule was finalized back in February, SS Green Light Racing's Joey Gase has looked forward to racing in front of family and friends in a NASCAR touring series race. The young driver from Cedar Rapids aspirations came true Sunday afternoon in the Goodyear Dealers of Iowa 200 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East/West Challenge event at the Iowa Speedway.
On Friday Joey joined eleven other K&N Pro Series drivers in a NASCAR Foundation fundraiser, bowling at the newly opened Bass Pro Shops in Altoona. "It's a really neat place, I didn't bowl very good but I had a great time meeting fans and some of the other drivers. It was a good event to raise money for a good cause. I had a lot of fun."
Gase struggled with a tight racecar during Saturday's practice session, "The car was really pushy and tight in the first practice, it was chattering the front tires in the corners," Gase explained.
In Sunday mornings practice session the Crew Chief Butch Miller and the SS Green Light team made wholesale changes to Gase' ASI Limited Chevy. "Butch and the guys threw a whole bunch of stuff at the car. They changed sway bars, springs, shocks, played with the cross in the car and it was actually a little free for qualifying," Joey continued. "We kind of chased the car all weekend."
Joey qualified the ASI Limited No. 08 twenty-second out of the forty-nine cars in attendance, turning a lap of 24.45 seconds at over 128 mph on the seven-eighths mile speedway. Joey's qualifying time was nearly a second and a half faster than the first practice, showing vast improvement from Saturday's session.
Throughout Sunday's 200-lap event Joey stayed clean and raced hard running around 20th place for most of the race. "We fell back a little at the start and then we picked up a few positions as the race went on," Joey said. "We waited a little longer to change tires than some of the teams and we got caught a little on a long green, but it really didn't hurt us much in the end."
Gase was credited with a respectable twenty-third place in his series debut behind winner Max Gresham.
Miller was very complementary of Joey's performance this weekend, "I think it was an excellent outing," Miller said. "The results show 23rd in the final standings, but that doesn't reflect the true success of the weekend."
"Joey did a good job for the first time in a heavy race car," Miller continued. "We worked hard together to get more speed. Most importantly, I think Joey learned a lot about communicating to us of what he needed to go faster."
"Joey got 200 laps of experience and he took good care of his equipment. Overall, he made a lot of progress this weekend."