Gase strikes deal with Means Racing

Cedar Rapids driver started 12 races for longtime NASCAR driver and car owner Jimmy Means

It appears Joey Gase and NASCAR Nationwide Series car owner Jimmy Means will continue their relationship into the next year.

The 19-year-old race car driver from Cedar Rapids and the longtime NASCAR driver and owner both confirmed Monday the plan is for Gase to run a full Nationwide Series schedule in 2013 with Means Racing. Gase raced in 18 events last year, including 12 with JMR.

Its amazing, Gase said. I just have to thank Jimmy and everybody for giving me this opportunity.

Means is excited about extending the relationship with Gase, to drive the No. 52 car. He said he was happy the way Gase closed 2012.

Joey really stepped up for us at the end of the year, Means said. We made some races that were very competitive and hard to make. We ran some really good cars. I think he impressed a lot of people."

The performance at the end of last season, which included his best performance to date and second top-20 finish, was a catalyst for the deal finalized last week. The two are a perfect fit.

We were able to make a lot of races we had to race our way into last year, Gase said. I like Jimmy a lot and he likes me. The whole team works well together. Were going to try it out again this year and hopefully it will be even better.

Gase has 23 career starts, debuting Aug. 2011 at Iowa Speedway. Gase was 30th in overall points in 2012, finishing a career-best 19th with JMR in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 20th.

Gase averaged a start and finish in the mid-30s during his early Nationwide career

Joey has a good head on his shoulders and takes good care of the equipment, veteran NASCAR driver and owner Jimmy Means said. Hes a very knowledgeable young man and very personable. Hes got a lot going for him. Hes very solid.Gase, who was the youngest late model division season champion at Hawkeye Downs Speedway at 16 in 2009, raced 11 events with Go Green Racing.