Ford Performance NASCAR: Chase Briscoe Atlanta Media Availability

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
NASCAR XFINITY Series (NCS)
Friday, June 4, 2020
EVENT: EchoPark 250 Media Availability

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 98 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, currently leads the point standings and has two wins this season. He was a guest earlier today as part of a media availability session and answered questions about Saturday’s scheduled event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang – HOW ARE YOU APPROACHING THIS WEEKEND? “I feel like Atlanta is gonna be a really good track for us. I feel like as a team and as a company we’re really good on mile-and-a-halves and specifically really slick mile-and-a-halves and Atlanta is definitely one of those race tracks. They won there two years ago with Harvick. We were running, I think, third or fourth last year and blew a tire, so I’m really confident going into there and it’s obviously really exciting running for an extra $100,000 this week thanks to XFINITY, so just looking forward to it. I feel like our team has really good momentum now, coming off a good finish at Bristol, and hopefully we can continue that onto Atlanta.”


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YOU MENTIONED THE DASH 4 CASH. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR TEAMS TO HAVE THAT CHANCE TO WIN AN EXTRA $100,000? “It’s a huge thing. For XFINITY to put up literally $400,000 as a bonus if you were able to sweep that, that’s like a brand new sponsor coming onboard for nearly half the season, so it’s a huge deal just to win one of them. If you could win four, it would literally change your entire program, so it’s a huge thing for us. I think everybody financially is struggling right now with everything going on with the COVID stuff, so for a team to be able to have that swing from no new money coming in to potentially $400,000 is a huge thing. I’m just thankful that XFINITY does that. They also obviously give us $100,000, but they do it in local communities and go and donate money as well, so it’s really a great thing they have going on.”

DO YOU FEEL WE’RE DEEP ENOUGH INTO THE SEASON TO KNOW WHO THE TITLE CONTENDERS WILL BE? “Yeah, I think you have a pretty good idea. We’ve run enough race tracks now, a good enough variety. For the most part, the playoffs are all short tracks or mile-and-a-halves, so you’ve kind of seen where guys are at on the mile-and-a-half side and now we have a short track. I think going in through the season you have a pretty good idea of who is gonna be kind of the guys that you’re gonna have to race against and I think those guys that you kind of expect have kind of been the same guys that have been running really good right now, so eventually as we go it’s gonna get more and more clear, but I think you definitely have a good idea of six to eight guys right now that are gonna be really hard to beat all year long no matter what race track you go to.”

WHO ARE THOSE SIX TO EIGHT AND HOW TO YOU STACK UP? “You have Allgaier. You have Gragson. Cindric. Justin Haley has been really good lately. Ross. There are so many guys that have been good. Harrison has been really good for is rookie season, so the same characters, I think, that you’ve seen up front for the most part are gonna be the same guys you’re gonna have to race against for a championship. With the race track changing now, going from Homestead to Phoenix, I think Allgaier is certainly the guy you gotta hope doesn’t get to the final four just because he’s so good at Phoenix. I think that changes a little bit of the narrative of who you’re going to have to beat for the championship just with the race track changing, but I feel like we’re as good as anybody right now. We weren’t very good at Bristol, but we were still able to salvage a second-place thanks to some good restarts at the end, but mile-and-a-half program-wise I feel like we’re just as good as anybody right now, if not a little bit better, especially on the slick ones, so hopefully we can use that to our advantage with Homestead and Atlanta coming up. Those are probably the slickest mile-and-a-halves we go to all year long, so if we could rattle off two or three wins right here, that would be huge for playoff points and everything else to really set us up good for the later half of the season.”

WHAT IS THE FEELING WHEN YOU ROLL OFF AT ATLANTA? “Just trying to figure out what the race car is gonna do from a balance standpoint and what you’re gonna need over the long run. Atlanta is a really fast mile-and-a-half, especially for how slick it is and that’s a place where balance is a huge thing, just because your car is never gonna handle perfect there. It’s just a matter of close can you get it and I think there it’s one of the races where we go there and the balance changes so much from the beginning of a run to the end of a run. Even the race track is gonna change just with temperature and where we start. It’s kind of the mid-afternoon and it’s probably gonna get a little hotter at first, but then it’s gonna cool off, so just trying to figure out what your car needs. You’re only gonna get two or three shots at it to make a big adjustment, so just trying to make sure your steer your team in the right direction. We don’t know where we’re gonna start yet. Hopefully, we can start up front and be in clean air. I highly doubt that happens. I think we’ve started 11th every week, but we’ll see what happens. I think that’s the biggest thing is just making sure you make the right adjustment at the beginning so you don’t have to start chasing yourself and going back the other direction.”

HOW CONFIDENT DO YOU FEEL? “Yeah, I feel really confident at Atlanta. Results-wise they don’t look very good, but I’ve always been running up front there and something happens at the end of races. Atlanta is one of my favorite race tracks. I’d say Homestead is my favorite and Atlanta is probably third or fourth just because we’re slipping and sliding around. I like the weather. It looks like it’s gonna be around 85-90 degrees so that’s even better. We’re gonna be slipping and sliding even more, so I’m definitely looking forward to getting to Atlanta and, like I said earlier, racing for an extra $100,000. That adds a lot more intensity to the race. It even makes the race within the race between us four a lot of fun.”

DO YOU THINK WE’LL SEE SOME SORT OF ALTERATION TO PRACTICE SCHEDULES WHEN THINGS RETURN TO NORMAL? “I think this year you’ve already seen shortened practices. Last year, I think we had two 50-minute practices and this year I think we get one-hour practice and then one like 15 or 20-minute practice, so they’re already shortening it. From a driver standpoint, I personally like it like a lot of the others just because I feel it puts a little more in the driver’s hands just because everybody starts off on an even playing field. Nobody’s car is gonna driver perfect. You have to figure it out and adapt, but at the same time it’s super-important for the crew chief and the team to unload somewhat close because you still have to be close. You can’t be way off in left field and still make something happen, but I think we could definitely limit practice. I think it would be nice to have practice. Looking back on it, if I was a rookie, a perfect example of going to Darlington, it would have been tough to start the race and try to figure it out, so I think 15-20 minutes of practice, just enough to make sure your travels are set, you’re not gonna bottom out or anything crazy, and then the drivers can at least get a look on the race track and shake everything down. I think that’s maybe a potential thing we could do to sort of practice, but I like it. It takes me back to dirt racing days, where you show up you get two laps and you’re racing. I’ve enjoyed it. I feel like it’s been good for our team because we’re typically pretty close in practice as it is when we unload, so it’s been good for us.”

INDIANAPOLIS ANNOUNCED TODAY THEY ARE GOING TO RACE WITHOUT FANS. WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE TO GO THERE WITHOUT FANS? “Yeah, that’s a bummer. I was bummed out this morning when I read it just because, for me, that’s going home and I get to see so many people and so many of my fans that I don’t get to see anywhere else. I always look really forward to that race because of that reason, so I was pretty bummed out when I saw that there was no fans, but, obviously, I understand why we’re not gonna have fans. That doesn’t make it any easier. That place is so fun to go to for me and get to see everybody, and even ride around the little driver intro car and ride around and have everybody waving, so it’s just a special weekend for me every time and all of my family gets to go, and they don’t get to go to very many races as an entire family, so I’m definitely bummed out, but we still get to race at Indianapolis. It’s gonna be a huge deal to be able to be the first race on the road course in the stock cars. That’s gonna be a huge opportunity and it’s gonna be an awesome weekend still, regardless with us and IndyCar and then the Cup Series on Sunday, so it will definitely be fun to watch it on TV, but we wish fans could be there. It’s gonna be a big deal I think next year whenever we go back.”

THOUGHTS ON POSTPONING THE BC39? “Which I was going to. That’s one of the few dirt races every year I get to run on and it’s turned into a huge deal. Everybody wants to go and support Bryan and then from the dirt side of things so many of those guys dream of getting to race at Indianapolis and that’s their only avenue to do it, so it’s a huge race. It’s one of the biggest dirt races of the year, really. I would say as far as prestige goes it’s in the top five. Everybody wants to win that race. It means so much to everybody because of who Bryan was as a person and as well as it being at Indianapolis. Hopefully, it will come back next year. I think the first two years it’s happened it has been a huge success and hopefully it can continue to be.”

DOES THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT MAKE THIS DASH 4 CASH EVEN MORE PRESSURE PACKED? “I don’t think it adds any pressure. I think anytime you add that amount of money guys are gonna be up on the wheel even more than what they normally are, so I don’t think it adds anymore pressure. Certainly, from a team side of things, I think they’re gonna be making sure every detail is correct to make sure they don’t mess it up. From a driver’s standpoint, I’m going 100 percent, whether we’re racing for a dollar or $100,000. I just want to win as bad as I can, so I don’t think that changes from my side of things, but I think the teams will probably put a little more detail in on just making sure everything is perfect and precise. Pit crews are gonna be on it, so I think as a company I’m sure Stewart-Haas knows what opportunity that creates. If we were able to go win all four, like I said earlier, that’s nearly a half-million dollars, so that’s a huge thing to be able to have halfway through the year that you would never expect to get. It’s a huge opportunity and hopefully we can capitalize on that. Obviously, winning four would be a huge feat, but if you can just win one or two of those that’s still like a brand new sponsor coming onboard.”

HOW HAVE THE EVENT THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN THIS COUNTRY THE PAST WEEK AFFECTED YOU? “I put out a statement on Twitter the other day. Our God says, ‘Love your neighbor like you love yourself.’ And I think that’s the perfect way to put it. We all need more love. It’s obviously a terrible situation that happened and I’m sure everybody wishes it wouldn’t have been like that, but if we all had more love and compassion that would be the perfect situation to all come together as an entire universe and as a country obviously as well. That’s really the best way I can put it is we just need more love and if everybody loved their neighbor like we loved ourselves, then it would be a lot better place.”

DO YOU HAVE A FITNESS ROUTINE AND DOES IT CHANGE BASED ON THE TRACK? “The fitness thing with this COVID situation has not put it to a halt, but just changed it a ton. I worked out at Stewart-Haas typically and Ford had hired Olympian gold medal winner Dan Jansen to be my trainer for the last three years now and with all this stuff going on he got put to the side just because money was so tight, and then we weren’t able to go to Stewart-Haas for nearly two-and-a-half months. I’ve just been working out at home. I don’t have any equipment, but I have a Peloton bike, so I’ve been doing that. And then Huffy sent me a couple road bikes, so I’ve been riding up and down the road, but it has definitely changed a lot just because of all the COVID stuff. Next week, I’m finally gonna be going back to the shop to work out outside with the SHR trainer, so that will be new for me, but as far as race tracks go, we don’t really change it specifically for race tracks. If we know we’re going to Bristol or a road course or somewhere where it’s gonna be harder on my back or on my neck, we might work on my back or neck a little bit more that week, but, typically, we have the same routine week in and week out.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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