Ford Performance NASCAR: Chase Briscoe Media Availability

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Friday, February 22, 2019

EVENT: NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Availability (Chase Briscoe)

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang: “Last year was definitely tough going back and forth because every organization runs different and the cars drive totally different even though they are the same manufacturer. To have one place to call home now and build a relationship with all our guys and drive the same feel of race car each and every week will go a long way. I am definitely excited to be in one spot full time.”

HOW HARD WAS IT NOT RACING EACH WEEK LAST YEAR? “It was really hard on the NASCAR side. I was still racing. I would go run sprint cars or the sports car stuff but it made it really hard to be good at the NASCAR stuff, especially right off the truck with the limited practice we have. When guys are doing it each and every week it makes them so much better. I would race once and then there was one time I was off for a month and a half. It made it really hard. I felt like I wasn’t as good as I could have been. I think it will be a lot easier this year, being in the car each and every week. I still don’t have a ton of stock car experience. I don’t even have 60 races in my entire career yet in a stock car. I feel like I learn so much every time I get in the car. In the short amount of time I have been in stock cars, I haven’t raced each and every week, I have always had breaks. I think this year will be easier from my end.”

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THEY SAY THE REAL SEASON STARTS THIS WEEKEND: “Yeah, I totally agree. I feel like this is where our season really starts. Daytona, so much can happen and you don’t know how good you will be all year. I feel like I have some added pressure this week because the car did win here last year and the crew chief won here last year and obviously Harvick is really good here. The car is definitely capable and I have all the confidence in the world in all our guys and the race cars. Hopefully the rain holds off and we can get some practice and go from there.”

ARE THERE CERTAIN DRIVERS THAT YOU REACH OUT TO FOR HELP IN YOUR LEARNING PROCESS? “A lot of different guys. Harvick this week. I have been wearing him out. I will talk to Brad (Keselowski) still from when I drove his trucks. Larson a little bit. Tony (Stewart) even though he hasn’t raced these cars in a log time he is still a big help. There are a lot of guys I reach out to and talk to. Honestly, everyone in the garage has been super helpful and everyone at SHR, Clint, Daniel, Aric, they have all helped me a ton. There is really nobody I don’t use it seems like.”

WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS DO YOU ASK THEM? “Little things about the race track. A lot of these places I have never been to or just been once and never driven the Xfinity car. I am just trying to find out little things that might find me some speed and the balance I need. I don’t quite know what feel I need going into the race. I feel like a lot of time I am too loose because I like being sideways and that loose feel a lot. That is probably not the best way to race. This week especially, tires are so big. Just talking to Kevin (Harvick) about how you can maintain your speed at the beginning of a run and have good speed at the end of a run. He is so good at that here. Each track is so different with what you ask. This week is about tire management.”

DID YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SPOT TO GO EAT AFTER RACES GROWING UP? “Growing up in Indiana, Steak-n-Shake is a stable. Even if we didn’t win we would go to Steak-n-Shake. A lot of people would make fun of my family because we would plan our racing trip and find out the good places to eat before we went. We always had to eat whether you ran 15th or we won. Steak-n-Shake was the spot for us. Honestly, it was about going to get a double-cheeseburger, cheese fries, Dr. Pepper and call it good. We could have flipped and destroyed everything but we were still going to stop and eat.”

WHY STEAK-N-SHAKE? “They are always open. Normally they are beside a Walmart or something so you could fit a truck and trailer there. It always seemed like a great idea but then you are sitting there for an hour-and-a-half waiting on food at two in the morning. It is good food and they are always open.”

HOW IS IT WORKING WITH COLE (CUSTER)? “Really good. When I moved to North Carolina he was one of the first guys I became friends with. I drove his midget at the Chili Bowl in 2015 or 16. We have always gotten along and work really well together. Last year we had five races together and honestly, at the Roval, he was the biggest help I had all week. I feel like we work well together. I wish I could help Cole a little more than what I do. I feel like I don’t have as much to bring to the table. I feel like as the season goes on and get more experience it will be a benefit to Cole as well as to me.”

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE NUANCES OF THIS TRACK? “Honestly, I feel like this place fits into my style really well. It is really similar to a dirt track. We are constantly sliding around and can go from top to bottom. The only thing I struggle with is the tire management side of things. I am not the best at knowing how to manage a run. I feel like a lot of times I burn my tires up to early. I am relying on Harvick to help that. This place, I feel like is as close as you can get to going dirt racing in NASCAR.”

HOW BIG IS IT BEING ABLE TO RELY ON A NOTEBOOK AS BIG AS HARVICK’S HERE? “Huge. I think he is by far the best guy around this place. He won this race last year in the car I am driving. There is added pressure there. Kevin is so good here. He is good everywhere, but it seems this place he has a knack for it. You go watch videos and he is lifting at the flagstand and still driving away from guys. Getting every ounce of help I can from him is nice. That is what is so great about being at SHR, being able to use those guys. They are all there to help. I am definitely going to use Harvick quite a bit this weekend.”

“I called Kevin on the way over here. He didn’t pick up. He is probably busy getting ready. He was on our flight last night and said to come over before practice today. Last year, honestly, when I drove for Roush, Kevin probably spent 30-minutes of his time to help me and talk to me. He has been so good to me and such a big help. I feel like I would have been out in left field if it wasn’t for Kevin. If he sees you applying the help, he is willing to help you again.”

WHAT DOES HE OFFER? “I don’t want to give all his secrets away.”

WHAT ABOUT IN A GENERAL SENSE? “The biggest thing is just how he gets around this place. How he drives here is very unique compared to a lot of other people. Talking to him about how to make his line and how he drives here work. A lot of guys probably struggle with it and can’t do it but he somehow makes it work. Trying to understand how Kevin does it here is such a big deal and such a huge help. A lot of guys don’t have that opportunity to talk to Kevin like I do. Using that and using all our partners at SHR, whether it is Tony or all the other guys that drive there.”

YOU MENTIONED THE DIRT ASPECT. IS THAT SOMETHING WHERE YOU CAN KIND OF TAP INTO THE FUN FACTOR AND MAYBE ENJOY THIS PLACE A LITTLE MORE THAN SOME OTHER PLACES? “Yeah. Only problem is I feel like it gets me in trouble here a lot because I start drifting instead of trying to go forward. This place is fun and I feel like every driver probably looks forward to this place because we slip and slide so much. A lot of these places we go to we are right on the bottom and can’t really move around. This place you can search all over the race track and I struggle with tire fall off but at the same time it is a blast to race and what makes this place so good. I am hoping they never repave this place. It is the best race track that I think we go to that is a mile-and-a-half.”

NO CUP GUYS ARE IN THIS XFINITY RACE THIS WEEKEND. DOES THAT CREATE A BETTER OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU XFINITY GUYS TO WIN THIS RACE? “I think it is huge. The Cup guys add a lot and it makes it harder to win races so you have to take advantage of when they are not here. At the same time, I feel like it is such an advantage to race with those Cup guys because you can learn so much. I think everyone last year that got to race with Harvick probably learned something from him. You have to take advantage of it but at the same time you are trying to win every weekend so it is just another opportunity to win, whether there is a Cup guy there or not, that is what you are trying to do.”

IS THERE MORE PRESSURE ON YOU BEING A SHR DRIVER, KNOWING THAT THERE ARE FEWER REALLY GOOD FULL TIME TEAMS IN XFINITY ANYMORE? “Yes and no. I feel like regardless when you are at SHR you are expected to go win, whether it is a packed field or easy field. There is never an easy race. Wherever you go in the country for whatever kind of race, there are always those four-to-seven guys that can win and it is no different in Xfinity> There is always going to be that seven-to-10 guys that can go win each week. I don’t think it adds pressure. I just have to go run good and try to win every weekend to keep a ride. I think it might make it a little easier to go win and make the playoffs but at the same time, I don’t think it adds any pressure.”

WHEN THE SERIES GOES TO TALLADEGA, WILL THE RACING BE SINGLE-FILE LIKE IT WAS AT DAYTONA LAST WEEK? “I don’t know. Last year at Talladega we did that for a large majority of the race everyone ran around the top. I don’t know what reason we do that for. I don’t get the point of it. Hopefully not. I feel like last year at Talladega there were points in the race where we didn’t but probably half the race we ran around single-file around the top. I get trying to make it to the end but we have to go race at some point.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT QUALIFYING HERE AT ATLANTA? HARVICK DOES WELL HERE DOWN LOW, HOW ARE YOU LOOKING AT IT? “I don’t know. I think it just depends on where your car is at. Obviously Kevin is really good around here. We were looking at some data stuff earlier this week at how Kevin can run literally the same three lap times all three rounds. A lot of guys start off fast and fade. I don’t know. I personally feel like the top is easier on your tires but at the same time, here the tires change so much that the first two rounds you might run the bottom and the final round you might run the top. Looking back at last year’s race, the guy that sat on the pole ran the top in one and two and bottom in three and four. That is what makes this place fun for me. It reminds me of dirt racing because you have to constantly move and search around and one end might be better on the top and one end might be better on the bottom.”

WHAT SHOULD FANS EXPECT TO LOOK FOR IN QUALIFYING? “I think you are going to see a lot of guys that are waiting early and then kind of riding and saving their stuff. That is the fun thing about this place, there might be a guy that sneaks into the final round but all of a sudden picks up three-tenths from saving tires. This place is a fun place to qualify because you are so on edge and there are a couple games you can play.”

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