Emerling-Gase Motorsports‘ début at Daytona International Speedway will be with a pair of cars sporting inverted numbers. On Monday, the team announced co-owner Joey Gase will drive the #53 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener alongside the #35 Toyota Supra of Shane Lee. Both cars will be sponsored by cryptocurrency KittyKatCoin.
Gase, an Xfinity regular with experience across NASCAR’s three national divisions, formed EGM on his own in November as Joey Gase Racing. The name was dropped when Whelen Modified Tour driver Patrick Emerling joined the ownership group a month later.
Lee signed with the team during its existence as JGR, bringing with him assets including a set of Toyotas that he acquired from his former Xfinity team H2 Motorsports. H2 provided his most recent NASCAR seat when he ran seven races for the team in 2019, though it folded due to legal investigations.
Emerling will also drive for the team. He finished runner-up in the 2021 Modified Tour standings, and has four career Xfinity starts for Our Motorsports. When he departed Our for EGM, he brought with him the owner points of the Our #23 which will be used in the #35.
#35 was last used in the Xfinity Series by MBM Motorsports in 2019 for Gase, which he brought over from Go Green Racing. The #53’s most recent action also came that year for Gase’s former Xfinity team Jimmy Means Racing, and he has also piloted the number in the Cup Series for Rick Ware Racing.
While it may seem unusual for both cars to have different manufacturers, some teams have done so if they do not have factory support from the makes and therefore race with whichever equipment they feel best maximises their performance. For example, MBM Motorsports is primarily a Toyota team but has also fielded Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros on occasion, and was one of the final teams to use Dodge power before its obsolescence was sealed in 2018.
KittyKatCoin is one of many crypto-related sponsors that have entered NASCAR sponsorship in recent times, especially at the Xfinity level. Landon Cassill is sponsored by crypto platform Voyager, while Stefan Parsons has sporadically been supported by Dogecoin which notably made waves in the Cup Series with its sponsorship of Josh Wise in 2014. Brandon Brown, who has been the centre of political discourse since his Talladega win, originally planned to race with LGBcoin, a currency based around the phrase that behind said controversy before it was rejected by NASCAR.