|Base||Forest City, North Carolina|
|Car numbers||25, 50, 52, 53, 55, 79|
|Race drivers||52. Joey Gase|
|Sponsors||52. Racing 2 Cure|
|Debut||Sprint Cup Series:
1978 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
|Latest race||2017 Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 (Bristol)|
Jimmy Means Racing is an American professional stock car racing team that competes in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. It is owned by former driver Jimmy Means, who was the team's primary driver upon the team's founding in 1978 as a Winston Cup team known as Means Racing. The team currently fields the No. 52 Chevrolet Camaro full-time for Joey Gase.
Winston Cup years
After 44 starts driving for Bill Gray (and one for Rod Osterlund), Means made his debut as an owner in 1978 when he fielded the No. 52 Chevrolet. He had two top-tens and finished sixteenth in points. He expanded to a multi-car team briefly, fielding the No. 25 for Charlie Chamblee in the No. 25 at Nashville, the No. 53 for Cecil Gordon at North Wilkesboro Speedway, and the No. 50 for Baxter Price at Texas World Speedway. His best years driving his own car were from 1980–1983, when he finished no worse than 18th in the standings and had an average finish of 20th of better in all 4 seasons.
While remaining the primary driver of his own car, in 1983 he stepped aside for Lennie Pond at Michigan International Speedway, who finished 22nd. In 1984, Means was injured and was replaced by Dale Jarrett, Sterling Marlin, Morgan Shepherd, Roy Smith and Bobby Wawak, and Means drove the No. 52 solely for the next six years. In 1991 Means gave up the No. 52 on two different occasions; Bobby Hillin, Jr. drove at Dover and Sears Point (finishing 19th and 21st), and Mike Wallace (finishing 31st and 39th) at Phoenix and Atlanta. In the early 90s he more frequently handed the wheel over to other drivers, including a rideless Bobby Hillin Jr, road racing ace Tom Kendall, future IRL champion Scott Sharp, and future Craftsman Truck Series champ Mike Skinner. He also fielded occasional second entries for other drivers, including John McFadden, Mike Potter, & Brad Teague.
Means secured new sponsorship from NAPA for the 1993 season, but he was injured at Daytona. His temporary replacement was new NASCAR Rookie of the Year Jimmy Hensley. Means returned to finish a respectable 22nd at Atlanta. In what proved to be his final year as a driver, he was later 16th in the spring race at Bristol, 18th in Bristol's fall race, and 17th at Dover in September before his final race at Rockingham that fall. Besides Means' performances, the team's best result was 25th at Rockingham in February by Hensley. In 1994 the team's primary driver was Brad Teague, whose best finish in 8 starts was 22nd at Bristol in the summer. 4 other drivers competed once each in the No. 52 NAPA Ford in 1994. Mike Skinner finished 31st at Rockingham in February, Kirk Shelmerdine (former crew chief for Dale Earnhardt) was 26th at Talladega in May, Bob Keselowski was 41st at Pocono in June, and Gary Bradberry came home 30th in the season ending Hooters 500 at Atlanta. The team did not have the funding to compete in 1995 after they failed to qualify for the first few races of the season.
Brief return in 2012
In 2012, The team returned to the cup series, the team formed a new Sprint Cup Team. After many problems acquiring equipment and preparing cars, the team made its Sprint Cup debut at Darlington. The team used the No. 52 which was a Toyota sponsored by Crusader Staffing. Mike Skinner parked the car after 20 laps. In 2013, Means sold his owner points to Brian Keselowski Motorsports.
Car No. 52 history
In 2001, Means Racing returned to NASCAR in the Busch Series with a partnership with Moy Racing. They began the season with Teague, who ran five races total for them that season, his best finish a 38th at Watkins Glen International. Gaylord also returned to run two races, both resulting in 42nd-place finishes. Kertus Davis, Ricky Sanders and Andy Kirby also drove for the team that year. In 2002, Teague drove eleven races for the team, his best finish 38th at Nazareth Speedway. Jimmy Kitchens, Phil Bonifield and Eric Jones drove part-time as well for the team that year. Teague made 11 starts for Means in 2003, with Donnie Neuenberger running an additional two races.
In 2004, Bruce Bechtel joined as another driver to the team. He made several attempts, but only made one race, at Pikes Peak. Teague continued to run with the team, his best finish being a 26th at Bristol. The next season, Shane Hall was the team's original driver, but was soon released. Eric McClure began running with the team, with a best finish of 30th at Texas Motor Speedway, but was released in favor of Neuenberger. At the Dover 200, Neuenberger flipped over the Plan B Technologies Ford Taurus on Lap 2. He was uninjured, but as that was the team's only car, the team did not run again for a year.
The No. 52 returned for the 2007 Orbitz 300 at Daytona but failed to qualify with Brad Teague at the wheel. Teague, Neuenberger, Kevin Lepage, Jamie Mosley and Ian Henderson had driven throughout the season, with Scott Gaylord driving at Montreal, Phoenix and Watkins Glen. Chris Lawson attempted but did not qualify at Memphis. Neuenberger drove four races with Royal Farms sponsorship.
Derrike Cope was the team's driver for the first part of 2008 season. At the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington, Cope was replaced by Brad Teague. Teague finished 22nd, 4 laps down. Teague mostly drove the car in 2008, but Neuenberger sometimes raced with Lepage, Scott Gaylord, Tony Raines and Boris Said occasionally drove. The 2009 season in the nationwide series was up and down for Means racing, with very many drivers. They were a "start and park" operation, and missed several races.
For 2011 they returned to the Nationwide series full-time in the No. 52 Chevy. Target Your Market Promotions and My 3 Sons Vending sponsored the team numerous times, and continued to do so, off and on throughout the year. After Bobby Santos III took a hard hit during practice for the season opener in Daytona, Dale Earnhardt Jr. gave the team the No. 88 backup car, on the condition that Means Racing would run the whole race with the car, and not Start and Park. Means Racing did run the whole race, they would end up finishing 17th. Since Daytona the team has run with several other drivers, including Daryl Harr, Tim Schendel and Tony Raines.
For 2012, the team ran Daytona with driver former Cup driver Reed Sorenson, and then switched between drivers Tim Schendel, Kevin Lepage, Joey Gase, Justin Jennings and Ryan Ellis for one race. The team achieved a spot in the top-30 and are locked into the first five races. The teams best finish was 19th at Kansas with Gase.
In 2013 the No. 52 team mainly used driver Gase, for 18 total races. Means also used Donnie Neuenberger, Lepage, Schendel and Ellis each for one race. The year's best finish was also 19th, but this time at Talladega with driver Neuenberger. Toyotas were driven for 7 of the 22 races with Chevrolet cars used the other races.
In 2014 Gase is again serving as primary driver with a high finish of 11th at Talladega. The car has seen several sponsors including Donate Life, DB Sales Company, and ASC.
In 2015, the team returned with Gase. At Talladega, Gase earned his first top 5 finish by finishing 5th and earned the team their first top 5 finish.