Watch: Enraged Racer Joey Gase Launches Bumper at Driver After Car Crash During ToyotaCare 250

Watch: Enraged Racer Joey Gase Launches Bumper at Driver After Car Crash During ToyotaCare 250

NASCAR is not a sport known for a shortage of hot-tempered talent.

In fact, one could argue that stock car racing became a national phenomenon and not just a niche spectacle due not to motors or tires but an impromptu boxing spectacle: When leaders Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison crashed each other out on the final lap of the 1979 Daytona 500 — the first running of the race televised live in its entirety — the ensuing chaos became less remembered for allowing Richard Petty to win his sixth Daytona 500 and more for Yarborough and Allison duking it out on the backstretch like it was a Frazier-Ali rematch.

A phenomenon was born not of Chevys or Fords, but of fisticuffs.

Nevertheless, people do actually watch for the racing, not for the crashes or the ensuing fights.

Also, it’s perhaps worth remembering that no matter how safe you make race cars — and they’ve come a long way, given the last deadly crash in NASCAR’s top three divisions was Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s fatal wreck in 2001 — speed plus sport will always equal danger.

And that’s why Joey Gase ought to be facing a long, long suspension.

You’ll be forgiven if you’ve not heard of Mr. Gase, because he’s not one of the sport’s top names; he’s been kicking around NASCAR’s top-flight Cup Series and second-tier Xfinity Series since 2011, with only a handful of top 10s in the latter and no wins in either.

Dawson Cram has similarly been unspectacular thus far in his career, although given that he’s only 22 compared with Gase’s 31, there’s still a chance he might make some waves in the sport.

However, given what happened at the Xfinity Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway in Virginia on Saturday, you might be forgiven for thinking the ages of the drivers were reversed.

According to Fox News, Gase wrecked after Cram hit his rear bumper, sending Gase sideways and then backward into the wall on lap 174.

Now, one can understand tempers boiling over in a situation like this. However, Gase had the time, malice and forethought to not only tear the bumper off the back of his car — which took some effort, crumpled though pretty much everything behind the rear quarterpanel was — and then threw it right at Cram’s windshield.

And then he posted on social media bragging about it. Because why not?

“I just wanted to give him a souvenir and let him know what he did,” he said of the bumper toss.

“I gave the kid his first-ever start, I believe, in Xfinity, and he comes over and borrows our tools and parts and pieces every week,” Gase said. “And, you know, he’s a good kid, but he loses his head every freaking race. He always has speed but he loses his head literally every race.”

Now, there were some defending Gase — including one of FS1’s announcers, who said, “I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do, but I understand.”

Gase owns his own team, where he’ll be splitting seat time this season with Frankie Muniz, the child-star-turned-racer. He was fighting for a top-20 finish and a “lucky dog” free pass — essentially, a rule in NASCAR where the top-ranked driver one lap down is allowed to rejoin the back of the lead lap if a caution flag comes out.

Furthermore, Cram has a reputation for taking the old “Days of Thunder” maxim “rubbin’ is racin'” just a bit too seriously, leading him to be unpopular in the paddock.

And that’s still all a bunch of rubbish.

First, while one feels sorry for Gase, no one is forcing him to own his own team and to race ridiculously powerful cars around America’s premier tracks.

If he’s doing this because he believes his big break is coming his way, he should wake up and smell the octane: He’s 31 years old with four top-10s to his name in his entire Xfinity career. Anyone familiar with NASCAR knows that’s an appallingly bad stat line for someone who isn’t just doing this for love of the sport — and in this sport, accidents happen.

If Joey Gase wants to blame someone for wasting his time and money on Saturday, he need look no further than Joey Gase.

And yes, while this was a racing incident, Dawson Cram was responsible for it and has been responsible for more than a couple during his time in the sport. He’s also 22, which means he’s still learning the ropes and how to be mature inside a race car.

Gase, meanwhile, is a 31-year-old dad and husband who can’t figure out how to be mature outside of one.

Furthermore, this wasn’t Allison and Yarborough duking it out for the Daytona 500, figuratively and then literally; it was a mid-pack skirmish during an early season race. Getteth a grip, sir.

By the way, in case you need to be told, this is also very much against the NASCAR rulebook:

Finally, consider the safety element here. Yes, it is difficult to damage a NASCAR windshield, and no, Richmond isn’t the fastest track on the calendar. But imagine if damage were done to the glass or some other part of the car, and suppose the resultant damage caused a pileup and serious injury later in the race. Unlikely? Yes. Unthinkable? No. How would Gase feel about his “souvenir”-gifting then?

Again, racing has always attracted adrenaline junkies who, when the adrenaline comes to a sudden crash along with their car, act out their rage. It’s part of the sport.

However, that allowance for blowing off steam does not extend to ripping off one’s bumper, throwing it at someone else’s car and then bragging about it.

If this is how frustrated Gase gets because he’s a struggling team owner/driver who got caught up in a racing incident, he should take it as a sign it might be time for him to stop racing.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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