Brad Perez, one of the easiest-to-like individuals within the NASCAR National Series garage areas, will return to Emerling-Gase Motorsports to run four NASCAR Xfinity Series events during the 2023 season.
it was really that easy 😳 pic.twitter.com/8YMofhFuQi
— bread perez (@bradxperez) January 23, 2023
The four-race stint for Perez will get kicked off at Circuit of the Americas, and if sponsorship is found Perez tells TobyChristie.com there could be more than four races on the schedule for him this season.
“COTA is the only for sure race that we have locked down. We are going to do four races, at least,” Perez explained. “Could be more depending on sponsorship, but the deal is for four right now.”
Perez ran two NASCAR Xfinity Series events for Emerling-Gase in 2022, and came home with finishes of 20th and 23rd at Watkins Glen International and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
Perez feels the Emerling-Gase team is a diamond in the rough.
“Yeah, last year, kind of how it came about, Joey [Gase] hit me up about an opportunity that could happen at Road America. Obviously, that never happened, but we stayed in touch afterward. They have great equipment and great people and I feel they are underrated as far as teams are concerned,” Perez said. “So, I felt this could be a good opportunity. When we did our first race together, I was like, ‘Okay, this is where I want to be,’ after the season ended, we decided what we were going to do from there. We worked out a deal.”
While it is currently being decided which entry (No. 35 or 53) that Perez will pilot in his starts this season, the racer will have support from some of his longtime partners during his 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series run.
WEISS Sand & Clay, a company based in Katy, Texas, will serve as the primary sponsor at Circuit of the Americas and Apex Coffee will serve in an associate sponsorship role for the event. Perez also says that GreenTech Energy will also be back as a primary for one race in 2023 and Victory SIM will be back to support the effort as well.
“I’m excited to have them back. All four of those guys have been huge supporters of mine. Just happy to keep carrying that torch forward with them,” a prideful Perez said.
The 26-year-old driver, who cut his teeth on the Mazda Miata circuit, is simply looking to keep building his experience bank from behind the wheel of a NASCAR stock car to continue building his driving career.
“I’m really here just to get some experience. I always look at other people around me, and I don’t have as much experience as these guys around me. I’ve taken less than 100 green flags in my entire life, and for me to be at this level, it’s intimidating,” Perez admitted. “Getting to race against these guys that have been in the series for five to 10 years. I want to build myself into being that guy that someone can call on. And that takes reps and getting better. We’re going to do some road courses, but hopefully maybe some ovals and keep trying to learn.”
Perez, a native of Hollywood, Florida, has never driven a race at a non-road course track in his brief stock car career. But he feels he is ready to take the plunge in 2023.
“I’m curious, I don’t know how it will be. I know [it’ll probably be a] short track, probably Richmond, Martinsville, or Bristol,” Perez stated. “I’m trying to not do Bristol as my first, I’ve heard a lot of things about how if you’re not used to it, it’s tough.”
Wherever he ends up running, aside from COTA in 2023, Perez says he has just one goal in mind and that’s to finish every race.
“I would say finish every race,” Perez said when pressed on what he would consider a success in 2023. “Finish every race with a clean car. Obviously, deep inside I want to be top-15 to top-20, the team is capable of it. In reality, you have to finish every lap, have a clean car and maximize your time on the racetrack, because you never know when you’re going to get more.”
The improbable journey, which has seen Perez go from a valet at a Florida hotel to a NASCAR National Series crew member to a driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in only a three-year span, will continue to defy the odds as he will see his amount of starts within the NASCAR Xfinity Series double, at the very least, in 2023.