NASCAR driver slams ‘crybabies’ over constant criticism

Joey Gase, Rick Ware Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Joey Gase, Rick Ware Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

NASCAR driver Joey Gase, who has not had the opportunity to run for a top Cup Series team, slammed those who criticize him for getting in the way as lap traffic, referring to them as crybabies.

“Nothing like a Gase and a Smithley.”

Joey Gase takes that kind of talk personally when it comes to criticism over how he drives while running laps down to NASCAR Cup Series race leaders.

The 27-year-old Cedar Rapids, Iowa native has never had the opportunity to compete behind the wheel of a competitive car in the Cup Series, and he has found himself at the center of multiple controversies as lap traffic in recent years.

That has never been the case more so than it was last season, when he competed in a career-high 33 races on the 36-race schedule, including 32 for Rick Ware Racing.

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His top finish of 17th place at Talladega Superspeedway and his 23rd place finish in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway were his only two top 25 finishes of the year, which is to be expected considering he is driving for the underfunded and, for lack of a better word, backmarker team.

When asked about the entire lap traffic issue during his Daytona 500 media availability and whether or not he pays any mind to the fact that it continues to come up, it was evident that such talk clearly does not sit well with him.

“Not very much,” he admitted. “We’re all out there in the same race, and they have it a hell of a lot easier than we do. If they want to switch seats any point in time, I would be happy to do that, or if they want to change funding, or whatever that might be. I’m a big fan of guys like Brad Keselowski, to be honest. The reason for that is because he’s been at the very bottom and he’s been at the very top. And he respects everybody.”

While he declined to name names, the primary driver he is referring to is clearly implied.

“There’s guys who definitely don’t have that respect,” he continued. “And the second token of that, a lot of those guys that I guess have complained about maybe me and Garrett [Smithley] — which honestly, normally, I have a bunch of respect from the guys up on top because normally we are really respectful of them and they’re respectful of us — there’s only maybe one or two of them out there. In my opinion, some of those guys are maybe crybabies. A lot of people would probably agree. They like to blame other people for them not having success.”

Asked if he takes that criticism personally, he said his previous answer speaks for itself.

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Gase is not slated to compete full-time in the Cup Series this year, but he is slated to compete in the season opener. His #53 car for Rick Ware Racing is a chartered entry, so he is locked into the 40-car field for the 63rd annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, which is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 14.