Chase Briscoe was coming off his winning ways in the ARCA Racing Series by winning the championship in 2016. He was looking to add to that winning tradition in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during the 2017 season.
The year started off decently for the Mitchell, Indiana driver with a third-place finish at Daytona. He had a couple of setbacks at Atlanta (25th) and Martinsville (11th). However, Briscoe started to pick up consistency after winning the pole at Dover. He lost by mere inches at Fort Worth but finished inside in the top 10 for the most part with exceptions at Kentucky and Bristol. His highest finish of the season was second place, three times, at Fort Worth, Gateway and Chicago.
Despite having great consistency throughout the summer months, it was announced by Brad Keselowski (owner of Brad Keselowski Racing) that the BKR Team would shut down at the end of the season, leaving Briscoe and his teammate Austin Cindric without rides at that point for the 2018 season. That announcement did not affect Briscoe’s strong runs, however, as he would clinch a spot in the Playoffs and compete for the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
When the Playoffs started, Loudon saw him finishing 11th followed by a third at Las Vegas. Unfortunately, Briscoe collected finishes of 22nd and 19th at Talladega and Martinsville, respectively. Due to those finishes, he ultimately ended his chance for a championship title.
Briscoe spoke about the Martinsville race, saying, “We were fast early in the race, but then started to get tight in the middle and we lost forward drive during the second stage. We lost track position on our second pit stop and that put us back with guys who were getting a little impatient and taking it three wide. That’s how we got on the losing end of a chain reaction and got some heavy left-side damage. There wasn’t a whole lot we could do once we were a lap down without a well-timed caution. We’ve still got three races we can win before the end of the season, and we all feel really good about Texas next week. Hopefully, we can finish out this season on a high note.”
It’s what could have been though for the former No. 29 Ford F-150 driver. Briscoe had strong runs at Fort Worth (fourth) and Phoenix (fourth), then took the checkered flag at Homestead, winning his first ever Truck Series race. Had he not been eliminated from the Playoffs, we would be talking about a different champion for the 2017 season.
“First off, we had a really good truck, and I can’t thank Brad and everyone at BKR enough,” Briscoe said. “For us to be shutting down and still bringing trucks that can win races and sit on poles, especially with me being out of the Playoffs, is a testament to how these BKR guys are. They continued to keep fighting for us. Our pit crew was absolutely on it tonight and allowed us to gain spots and get out in front. Once we got to the lead, I felt confident that we had the speed to hold everyone off until the end, but I thought we were going to have a caution because that seems to be how our luck has been all year long. There wasn’t one, and we were fortunate enough to go on and win. I didn’t think it would take this long, but I’m so glad we’re here. Thank you so much to Ford for believing in me this year as well. Two years ago I was sleeping on couches and now I’m a NASCAR winner.”
When 2017 ended, he had collected one win, 10 top fives and 14 top 10 finishes, with an average start of 6.7 and an average finish of 8.5. Briscoe also led 288 laps.
The young 23-year-old will be taking his teammate Austin Cindric along with him to Roush Fenway Racing next year, as both of them will be splitting rides in the No. 60 in the 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series season.
For more news on Chase Briscoe follow him on Twitter @ChaseBriscoe.