Rookie drivers Joey Gase and Corey LaJoie were put to the test in their first Daytona 500 Sunday, and both passed with flying colors. NASCAR’s new rule putting a five minute limit on pit road repairs was also tested and overcome by both BK Racing crews during the eventful race at Daytona International Speedway.
After finishing 7th in the Saturday Xfinity Series, Joey Gase had momentum going into Sunday’s 500. Gase qualified in the 29th position for his first career Daytona 500 in the No. 23 Best Home Furnishings Toyota. Despite being caught up in three separate multi-car accidents, Gase kept the car from getting major damage and the No. 23 crew kept making quick repairs. Gase finished a solid 23rd at the end of the day. “Our goal going into my first Daytona 500 was to first finish and then finish in the top 25, and we accomplished that,” said Gase. “The second half of the race was definitely not smooth sailing for us, but then again it wasn’t for most other teams. Our team never gave up, though, and kept digging. I’m so proud of our entire team, and I can’t thank Best Home Furnishings and BK Racing enough for the opportunity.”
Corey LaJoie had to race his way into the Daytona 500 via the Can-Am Duels Thursday night. He was successful, and the No. 83 Dustless Blasting Toyota started the 500 in the 31st position. During Sunday’s race, LaJoie was involved in an early crash, but the crew made swift repairs to keep the No. 83 on track. LaJoie kept the car clean for the rest of the race and came home in the 24th position. “My first Daytona 500 was an incredible experience,” said LaJoie. “I made a rookie mistake on the first round of green flag pit stops and got some damage early. My Dustless Blasting crew never gave up and got the car repaired to stay in the hunt, and we came home with a 24th place finish.”
Up next for BK Racing is the 58th Annual Folds of Honor QuikTrip “500” at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Corey LaJoie will once again pilot the No. 83 Dustless Blasting Toyota, and Gray Gaulding will take over the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!