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NASCAR driver Joey Gase racing for more than trophies

Posted at 11:05 PM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 02:06:59-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — When Joey Gase gets behind the wheel, he's not just racing for himself.

"My mom passed away from a brain aneurysm in 2011 and became an organ donor, that's why I'm so passionate about it," said Gase, 26.

Gase has several pictures on his car: over the back wheel on the driver side, a picture of his mom Mary. And just above the bumper, Triston, a 19-year-old Nevadan who died from an accidental gunshot wound - his donated organs saving five lives. Triston's parents say this is a perfect way to honor his life.

"One thing about Triston is his need for speed. He loved to go fast and to take the back roads and clear his mind. The fact that he's being honored at NASCAR is right up his alley," said Becky, Triston's mom.

Gase has been honoring organ donors in this way since 2013.

"Whenever I see the honoree photos on the car and knowing that I'm not here just racing for myself, I'm also here honoring them. It's an extraordinary feeling, and it's also great to have the family at the race track and see how special it is for them too," said Gase.

And this weekend, it won't just be special Gase and Triston's family - but for Lars, too, who received Triston's lungs when he died.

"It's wonderful," Lars said. "To start with, I gained another person in my life, so she's part of our family now.

Gase will be competing in two races this weekend.