Xfinity driver takes real risk by giving up his ride to chase Cup dream

Xfinity driver Joey Gase has decided it's time to go big or go home.  Well, maybe not the go home part, but the 24-year-old doesn't yet have a place to land in 2018 after it was announced that he and his team, Means Motorsports, were parting ways so that Gase could pursue a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series seat.

"I want to be as close to fulltime as I can," Gase told "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."

Gase has driven for Means Motorsports the past 5 seasons, starting part-time before moving to fulltime in 2014. He finished 5th at Talladega in 2015 and has two top 10 finishes in both Daytona races this year.

Means Motorsports owner Jimmy Means says Gase has been upfront with the team about wanting to make this move. And although he has no animosity towards Gase for wanting to prove himself, Means says he's got to plan for 2018.

"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."

Gase admits he doesn't have anything solid for 2018. Tough position to be in with less than four months before the start of the season, and with a number of other veteran drivers like Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Aric Almirola also looking for rides. In the meantime, Gase has to finish out this season before moving on, wherever that might be.

"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," he says.