Nascar’s Joey Gase Talks to Purelight Power

Nascar’s Joey Gase Talks to Purelight Power

Hi Purelight Family! We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring you a conversation with Joey Gase of Nascar’s Emerling-Gase Racing.

Just like Purelight, Joey is local to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We’ve been sponsoring Joey and his team since early this summer, and have enjoyed getting be part of the support for our very own Cedar Rapids Nascar team.

Check out the video, or read through the transcript below.

Purelight: Hi Purelight Family!

We’re thrilled today to be able to bring a very special interview with Nascar driver, Joey Gase of Emerling-Gase Racing.

If you’re from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, you’re likely already familiar with Joey’s name and racing career.

Joey, for folks who aren’t from your hometown, can you tell us a little bit about how you got into racing?


Joey: It’s definitely a surprise to a lot of people. And I will say when I started, I was racing before I started driver’s ed and the driver’s ed teacher could tell right away.

I’m from Iowa originally and my dad raced before I did. But just that the local short track level here in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

I always grew up in racing and I always wanted to be a part of it. And I always wanted to race myself.

So when I was four, they got me my first yard kart, and then when I was eight, I did my first competitive go kart race and won Go Kart Nationals a little bit later.

Then I turned 14, and I started racing my dad’s old race car, which is a full size race car called a modified, at Hawkeye Downs.

And then when I was 16, I was the youngest ever to win the Late Model Championship at Hawkeye Downs. And then everything kind of started to take off from me since there.

And I’ve been Xfinity since I was 18, I made my first Cup series start when I was 14. So it’s crazy to think I’ve been in the world of NASCAR now for for right around ten years.


Emerling-Gase Racing’s Nascar History

Purelight: Purelight is a younger company, we just turned 3 this year. I know your racing team, Emerling-Gase Racing, is younger too.

Tell me a little bit about your journey to co-owning your own Nascar team.


Joey: The last couple of years I’ve been thinking about owning my own team for multiple reasons. There was some things that I felt like I could do better as an owner and maybe control my own destiny a little bit.

We’re a brand new team this year. We became official in January, and it’s been a little bit of a rush, I guess you can say, getting everything done in time.

And for those that are familiar with NASCAR, know that our season starts in February and goes till November. So we had about a month and a half to get everything done. Which, now I say that it’s crazy to think about.

But we did it and we took two cars to Daytona and got both cars in the race, which was amazing. And we’ve been doing good ever since.


Purelight Teams Up with Joey

Purelight: At Purelight, we talk with a lot of homeowners who are looking for energy independence by going solar. And of course, the savings that come along with owning your power.

But what drew you to reaching out to Purelight Power as a sponsor and partner?

Joey: You know, it was multiple different things. Like you said, you’re a newer company trying to break into the business world. And doing a great job with it.

And, you know, I saw your guys’ name, I think actually on Facebook. And so I’m like, you know what, I’m going to reach out to these guys. I like everything that they’re doing and how they’re growing.

And how they’re a young company and faster growing, but at the same time, how they’re not only doing it for business, but also helping our world in general. By cutting down emissions and then also saving people money. So it’s a win win for everybody. And so I want to be help be a part of that.


Nascar and Solar: A Good Fit

Purelight: Some folks might think that solar and Nascar aren’t an obvious fit.

To us, both in the technology that’s always changing in both solar and racing, and things like the Nascar Green initiative that’s looking towards a sustainable future too, solar and racing fit together really well.

What’s your take on people thinking that solar is only something radical environmentalists want?


Joey: I mean, obviously, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to go solar for one.

Obviously, it saves you money. And two, if it helps the Earth and the environment, why would you not want to do that?

And, you know, a lot of people, like you said, think NASCAR maybe, that NASCAR, you know, isn’t maybe very green or that we may not care about being resourceful and stuff like that. But it’s really quite the opposite.

You know, everything we’re trying to do for us to win the race. We’re trying to you know, we try to make the most horsepower as possible. But at the same time, we’re trying to save as much fuel and get the best fuel economy as we can to do that.

Because our races are very long and we have to stop and make pit stops and get fuel. So the least amount we have to do that, the better we’ll go and the farther we’ll be able to go, and help us win the race.

And on top of that, we actually use ethanol in our race cars. And that’s part of the things that NASCAR is doing to go green. And a lot of the oil we use in our race car is actually recycled oil as well.

So there’s just a lot of things NASCAR does in general, from the actual race cars on the racetrack to where race tracks we race at, and just recycling in general that we do to obviously help our cost and help us win races. But at the same time, to help the Earth.

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What’s Next for Joey and Emerling-Gase Racing

Purelight: At Purelight, we’ve seen a ton of change and growth in the last few years.

Ranging from growing our team from just 4 to nearly 300, and being named a top solar contractor in Oregon and Iowa by Solar Power World.

We know your team is growing as well, including plans to run two full time teams this next year. 

So, what else is in the future for Emerling-Gase Racing?


Joey: Like you said, we’re going to have two cars next year. We’re growing quickly, but trying to be smart about it all at the same time.

And I said earlier, we took two cars to our very first race and we’ve done two cars twice so far this year, but we’ll probably end up doing it probably four times this year at least. But, you know, our goal is to be, you know, be as good as a team as we can as possible, and be as competitive as possible. And give more drivers like me a shot.

I mean, I’m someone that made it here from literally the bottom and not having a ton of money. My mom was a hairstylist growing up. And my dad worked in a power plant. So we want to get more drivers like that, the opportunity to be successful in the sport.

And, you know, I think our ultimate goal and in the future, it may be a little bit down the road, but is also to win a championship, but also to get into the NASCAR Cup Series as well.


The Why Behind Partnering with Donate Life

Purelight: I know you also work with Donate Life. Could you tell us a little bit about how that partnership came to be?


Joey: It’s something that’s really close to me and really important to me because of my mom, Mary. Unfortunately, she passed away in April of 2011 of a sudden brain aneurysm.

And when that happened the doctors asked us would she like to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor. And at that time it was something we never really talked a whole lot about or really even knew a lot about.

But it was something, like I said, that was super unexpected at my mom’s passing. But we knew she could no longer continue her life. She wanted to do where she could help others continue there.

So we said yes. And later we found out she was able to help improve the lives of 66 people directly, which was amazing to us.


Gase Racing and Nascar: A Family Affair

Purelight: That’s amazing that your mom was able to touch so many lives, and that you’ve carried on that work and awareness. It’s a beautiful way to get to sort of have your mom as part of your racing team too.

I know you also have two kiddos. Do you think they’ll wind up being part of the team in the future?


Joey: We joke about that all the time. Before they were born, when we said they weren’t going to race because it’s too expensive and too dangerous.

But I think we’re in trouble. I’m pretty sure they’re both going to be racing. They both love it and they always want to go to the racetrack


Iowans are Proud of Leading the Renewable Energy Movement

Purelight: As we wrap up, any thoughts on Iowa being one of the leading states in the country for solar and renewable energy?


Joey: I think it’s great, and it just kind of shows how Iowans are, you know, as a whole.

That’s the one thing I learned from living here and growing up here. And then, you know, going to different areas of the country. Not saying, you know, other areas of the country aren’t good. But I definitely think the people of Iowa in general are just the best as far as wanting to be helpful. And just help, you know, help everyone in general.

And obviously, most Iowans and farmers know in general, of course, that we need the earth and the soil and everything to be fertile for us to be able to grow the crops that we grow.

We can’t have global warming. We need to have the weather to be right: not too hot, not too cold. And just enough rain to be able to produce a good harvest for corn and beans, whatever it might be.

So I think it’s awesome. To see that Iowa, as it probably affects us most of all, you know, being on the front lines of that.


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