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Means Motorsports, Joey Gase to split at end of 2017; Gase to focus on Cup for 2018

Means Motorsports to explore new opportunities for the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

Without a commitment from their current driver Joey Gase, the team will be looking to fill that position for the upcoming season starting with the Daytona race.

Over the past couple of years Means Motorsports has steadily climbed up the standings which bodes well for their 2018 campaign in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Moving forward, their effort will focus on continued improvement to their program, while securing a new driver for the #52.

The team’s first option would be to partner with one driver for the entire season but they will entertain multiple or single race ventures depending on the funding at hand.

Owner Jimmy Means states, "While forming these new relationships, we are excited to see what this opportunity will bring to the #52 next year and beyond."

— Means Motorsports LLC —

UPDATE: Jimmy Means, owner of Means Motorsports, told Frontstretch that a meeting between the two sides took place more than two months ago, determining to go in this direction. However, there is no animosity from the car owner, as Gase is trying to make the jump to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

"I can’t wait until January 1 to know that he’s not coming back," Means said of the timing of Gase’s decision. "I had to let it be known that we’re looking for sponsors and drivers. He can’t commit to say he can do it, so I can’t be left hanging. I talked to him about two months ago and asked him, ‘What is your plan?’ He said, ‘I want to run Cup.’ I said then, ‘I have to take care of this team. I need to look for somebody to replace you if that’s what you’re going to do.’ Without him being able to make a commitment, that’s what we had to do."

Gase, 24, has competed in 19 career races at the Cup level, six of which come this season with BK Racing and Premium Motorsports, finishing in the top 25 in three events. The next step for his career is making the leap to the top division in motorsports, though he has nothing set in stone.

"I want to be as close to full-time as I can," Gase said over the phone. "That was my dream when I was a little kid and most people’s dreams when they want to be a racecar driver is to get up into the Cup Series and trying to win a championship there. That’s my goal is to get up in the Cup Series full-time next year and if not next year, the year after that.

"That’s kind of how it goes in racing. I’m pretty confident that I will find something for next year, but it was a deal where if I committed to Jimmy right now, I might not be able to go full-time Cup racing next year with the way the schedule works out and a bunch of things that people don’t always see or realize."