Ford Performance NASCAR: Briscoe Wins at Indy, Claims 5th Win of 2020

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2020
PENNZOIL 150 – INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (ROAD COURSE)
FORD PERFORMANCE DRIVER – POST RACE QUOTES

FORD FINISHING RESULTS:
1st – Chase Briscoe
5th – Austin Cindric

Chase Briscoe won his fifth race of the 2020 NASCAR XFINITY Series season with today’s victory at Indianapolis. Pocono Raceway. His other wins have come at Las Vegas, Darlington, Homestead and Pocono.


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CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang — FINISHED 1st

YOU TOLD US YOU WERE DOING EVERYTHING. YOU WEREN’T KIDDING WERE YOU? “No, everybody knows that I grew up and my hero in racing was Tony Stewart. To get to drive for him and watch him win the brickyard, that was always his signature thing and I just wanted to do it. Obviously it is not the same prestige as winning on the oval but you still won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It doesn’t matter if you are racing on the oval, the road course, the dirt track or even the parking lot, it is special when you win here. Growing up, coming here all the time, it is unbelievable to think that I just won here. I am so happy to get HighPoint.com in victory lane again. I am worn out. That fence climb will take a lot out of you.”

IS THIS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT WIN OF YOUR CAREER? “From a personal standpoint, Darlington meant a ton just because of what I was going through. I have dreamed of coming to this race track and just getting to race here. To win here is unbelievable. I can’t put it into words. To get our sponsors in victory lane and driving for Stewart-Haas at Indianapolis. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

YOU SAID YOU WERE HALFWAY TO YOUR GOAL TO EIGHT WINS. I THINK IT IS TIME TO REASSESS THAT GOAL: “Yeah, we aren’t going to stop at eight if we get there, that is for sure. We are really rolling right now. I think today is a statement win. I don’t think anybody had us as a favorite today with Allmendinger and Cindric in the field but we knew down deep we could run with those guys. I am so blessed to be driving this race car. I am a luck guy that gets to drive it and it is truly a blessing. I hate that there are no fans here. I get to see so many of my fans, friends and family here that I don’t get to see anywhere else. Kind of bitter sweet to win here but I know they are all watching on TV. I can’t believe we won at Indy.”

YOU MADE SOME AMAZING BOLD MOVES. YOU SPLIT CARS ON A RESTART. YOU BLEW A CORNER ON A RESTART AND STILL RETOOK THE LEAD. HOW? “I don’t know. I think I had the Good Lord on my side for sure. The restarts, I was starting on the outside which I didn’t think was the best scenario. It seemed like holes were opening up. I wasn’t very good when guys were right behind me because I needed the back of my corner to be really good. You can’t do that when they are right behind you, especially Allmendinger. He is so good in the braking zones. I did give it away in a sense over there. Cindric and him started racing pretty hard and that gave me a chance to get back in there and I threw a slide job into 1 and 2 and I think that was by far the hardest I have ran in my life to try to get a win.

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Menards/Richmond Water Heaters Ford Mustang — FINISHED 5th

HECK OF A RUN FROM YOU TODAY, WHERE DO YOU FEEL IT WENT WRONG? “Our day was a lot harder than it needed to be. Obviously our Ford Mustang had a lot of incentive for us to win this weekend with the Captain and obviously we were pretty strong on road courses and ran well in practice. With that restart penalty that I feel really ruined our day and from my viewpoint was pretty unjustified, pretty much turned our race into a drive from the back. We got there. We got back to where we were but we just didn’t have a great opportunity to get around the 16 to pass for the lead and the win. I tried but it is great that Chase was able to get the win. I am sure it means a lot to him winning at home. Another weekend and another good run where we came up short.”

WALK ME THROUGH THE LAST FEW LAPS THERE WITH THE THREE OF YOU BATTLING AND YOU CAME OUT WITH DAMAGE AFTER CONTACT WITH THE 16. HOW MUCH DID THAT AFFECT YOUR CAR AT THE END? “Obviously we were racing really hard for the win and the thing about these cars is you have to be all the way on the inside to make a move and I probably didn’t quite commit to the areas where I could have used a bit more of my car. I feel like that as my missed opportunity. I am not sure how many more opportunities I had other than the ones that I knew I could take. I feel like the opportunity was there. The 98 drove off the race track and the seas kind of parted for me and AJ was driving extremely defensive and I feel like that is why I was able to stay with him but I just couldn’t quite seal the deal.”

POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE

GREG ZIPPADELLI, CREW CHIEF, No. 98 Ford Mustang — DID YOU CLIMB THE FENCE? “No, I would have but I am too old to run down there with those kids anymore. I walked down and they were coming back down when I got there. I did it before. It is a really cool win, a great place. I am glad I could be a small part of him experiencing that. I know he was pretty pumped up to come here being from Indiana and a lot of his heroes race here and grew up around here.”

IS THERE ANY CONCERN TOMORROW WITH THE CUP CARS ON THE OVAL GOING OVER THE TIRE RUBBER FROM THE RACES TODAY? “I think it will all come up pretty quick. More of a question of there being only a little bit of rubber in a couple of spaces on the race track that the cup cars will run on. The rest of it doesn’t have any rubber on it. You know how tires wear here. It will be interesting to see how the first 10 to 15 laps goes with the tire wear. We have run before where five or seven laps you get cords in those tires and the race track will take rubber pretty quick and it will go away.”

WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION AND CHASE THAT YOU HAD TO MAKE THE CREW CHIEF SWAP THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS AND HE IS PERFORMING LIKE HE HASN’T SKIPPED A BEAT? “I think it is pretty cool. Chase has not gotten down about it. He has dug down. He has done a really good job growing and learning and being a little more of a leader of this team, especially through this time. We have a lot of good guys and obviously in the organization and the Xfinity team. There are not a lot of them over there and these guys work their guts out. I am proud to be part of it and be able to fill in and help. I have been here anyway so it was kind of a natural plug and play.”

BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED CHASE HAD SET A GOAL OF EIGHT WINS AND A LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGHT HE WAS ASKING TOO MUCH OF HIMSELF. HERE WE ARE 13 RACES IN AND HE HAS FIVE. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THAT AND HIS POTENTIAL FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON? “I think the potential is obviously there. You know how it is in this sport. When things are good you have to jump on it and take advantage of it. A couple weeks from now you could lose a little bit and someone else picks up and wins a couple races. You can’t get too confident and certainly can’t get cocky or you will get run over. The people we have been beating every week are working just as hard or harder to catch what Chase is doing and this team is doing. I am very proud of him. He is a good little driver, man. A lot of fun to be around.”

WE CAN ALL SEE THAT CHASE IS A GOOD DRIVER. WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES IN YOUR MIND THAT MAKE HIM SO GOOD? “He is able to dig deep. There are some people that when it is time to close, I see that a lot in him, he finds a little bit extra. He has a lot of confidence but isn’t getting cocky, which I love. Most of all he is just a good race car driver. You watch guys and guys go fast and then you watch guys that go fast and can pass cars and guys that go fast and takes the driver to learn how to pass or get by guys. He just has a natural understanding of racing. He does a good job racing guys and does a really good job of passing. A lot of these race tracks with the aero and things of that nature, the good guys learn that and they carry it out. Really he is just a good hearted kid with a lot of will and want to win.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT THE TWO SERIES’ MIGHT DOING FORWARD IN TERMS OF THE ROAD COURSE HERE NOW THAT WE SAW THIS PLAY OUT TODAY? “This was fun. I didn’t know what to expect coming in. Nobody has really had any experience here. We saw F1 races and IndyCar races in the past, but not these bigger heavier Stock Cars. I don’t know if you could have gotten a better last 10 laps of a race. It is racey. It was fun to be a part of. I was surprised. It was a lot better than I — I didn’t know what to expect I guess. I think it turned out really well. To get both of them in one day and it is only 5:30 and have two good races, I thought that was pretty cool.”

ARE YOU READY TO GET OFF THE BOX OR HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT STAYING? YOUR RECORD IS PRETTY GOOD SINCE YOU CAME BACK: “We will go to Kentucky and play the support role next week.”

SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SPEND TIME UP CLOSE WITH BRISCOE, IF AN OPENING OCCURRED ON THE CUP SIDE OF THE SHOP, WOULD YOU ADVOCATE FOR HIM TO GET A CUP RIDE? “Oh, without a doubt. I think he is still young and has a lot to learn but I am very, very impressed with how quick he is learning how to race these stock cars. I hope he is a part of Stewart-Haas for a long period of time. He is a good kid and we would love to see him on the other side with us.”

YOU HAVE BEEN A PART OF SOME GREAT EXPERIENCES HERE AT INDY OVER THE YEARS. THIS TIME IT WAS AN INDIANA KID WINNING BUT NOBODY WAS IN THE STANDS. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? “Yeah, that is obviously a bummer but with what is going on we understand and accept it and move on. It is still a win for an Indiana kid in his hometown and it is very special to him. It is kind of cool for it to be the road course and for him to get his first win here. I believe the kid will have many other opportunities in his life.”

CHASE BRISCOE POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang — YOU TALKED ABOUT HOW MUCH TIME YOU SPENT IN THE FORD SIMULATOR AND YOUR FOCUS ON THIS RACE. I AM CURIOUS HOW THAT HELPED IN THE LAST FEW LAPS. WAS IT ANYTHING YOU PULLED OUT OF THE SIM? “It was a little of both. For one, on the simulator we were trying to focus on running 93-second lap times and yesterday in practice we were in the 90-second lap time. I had a lot less grip in the simulator. I don’t know what lap times we were turning today but honestly I try to run all these road courses like dirt. I try to keep the thing hooked up at all times on exit. I felt like at the Roval that is what won the race the first time. To do that here again, I feel like my dirt background has helped me so much on these places with it being so hot and slick like it was today. Everybody is spinning the tires and everything else and it is about being patient back to the gas and getting the rear tires hooked up. I just tried to run my pace. I didn’t do a very good job of that at the end of the race when Allmendinger was behind me. When I was out front, I just kept backing the corners up and just saving my stuff and I was faster that way. When Allmendinger was behind me, I had to run so hard into the corner because he would pass me if I didn’t and it kind of got me out of rhythm and I about gave the race away on the last corner back there. I can’t believe I won at Indianapolis. I am glad I put as much work into it as I did. I felt like I wasn’t at as much of a disadvantage as the guys coming in here that didn’t turn laps. It was pretty similar to the simulator. There is still nothing like real life.”

WHAT HAS THIS EXPERIENCE BEEN LIKE. YOU CLIMBED BUT THERE WERE NO FANS, NO FAMILY IN VICTORY LANE. WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE WINNING HERE TODAY? “Every week I have talked about when I win how the fans make winning fun. They are the reason you celebrate and the last couple of times I don’t really celebrate because without the fans I don’t get hyped up. Here I was obviously excited. I wish there were fans here. I probably said it five or six times in victory lane how much I wish the fans and my family and friends could be here. My family is probably crying at home. I was thinking about that the last couple of laps. That is tough. I wish they could have been here to experience it. It is something that may not ever happen again. It is definitely bittersweet to win without them here but overall I am still so glad and thankful that I was able to win here. Very few people can say that they got to race here, let alone win here. I was saying it is still not as prestigious as winning on the oval but to be the first to win on the road course in a Stock Car, it doesn’t matter. If you win at Indianapolis it is special, especially when you grew up an hour from the place and came here as a kid. It is very humbling.”

WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR YOU THOSE LAST SEVEN LAPS? “It was a very adrenaline packed and nerve wracking run. I don’t get too worked up in the race car but I have put a lot of pressure on myself for this race. I didn’t want to see the caution at the end because I thought I had a good enough lead that I didn’t think anybody was going to catch me. Anytime you have a late race restart, you never know what can happen. I was a little worried. I had an awesome restart and got the lead but then I saw Allmendinger get behind me. He is so good in the braking zones and really pressured me a lot. I felt like I was doing a good job and then I was doing the same thing I had been doing every time into Turn 10 and I just randomly wheel hopped for whatever reason. I don’t know what happened. I was so mad and frustrated with myself. I tried to maintain composure. I knew those guys were going to race each other and once they started racing each other it let me close the gap back. I think if it was just Allmendinger or just Cindric that got out front I would have never caught them. Them racing each other was my saving grace. I don’t know what happened. We went three wide into 1 and I threw a dirt track slide job in there and was able to clear both of them. I got so tight and got into Allmendiger a little bit and then on the backstretch I looked up and there was nobody around me. At that point I knew that I just had to hit my marks and not screw up. I feel like I ran a pretty clean race today other than that one mistake. Our car was really good and I am so thankful and so blessed to be the guy that gets to drive these race cars. You are only as good as the race car you are in. To win here at Indianapolis driving for my hero Tony Stewart with Greg Zippadelli on the box nonetheless, it is unbelievable.”

YOU THINK YOU ARE GIVING THE FOLKS IN MITCHELL INDIANA A REASON TO SHOOT OFF A FEW MORE FIREWORKS TONIGHT? “Yeah, I am sure they are going to be fired up. Like I keep saying, it sucks they aren’tt here. I understand the circumstance but it is tough knowing how many of them would have been here this week. Anytime I come here feeling — whatever reason when you come to Indianapolis, if you are an Indiana driver the crowd just gets behind you. I would have loved to see the crowd today. Hopefully we put on a good enough race that next year they will come pack the place and we can put on another really good show for them.”

A LOT OF PEOPLE MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT YOU WERE CRAZY WHEN YOU SAID YOU SET AN EIGHT WIN GOAL THIS SEASON. DO YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU AND YOUR TEAM HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH CONSIDERING EVERYTHING YOU HAVE FACED THIS SEASON? “I think realistically we should have seven. I threw away Atlanta and then Homestead it felt like we had one get away with the lug deal. Every single race track we have gone to we have been in the hunt. It is pretty unbelievable to think we have gone to 13 races and have had a chance to win every single one of them. I know it sounds so cliche to say it is a testament to the guys but it really is. This week we had practice but every other week we don’t and to show up and be that good week in and week out just shows how good they are at their jobs. To be three guys down from our normal crew it just shows the strength and depth of Stewart-Haas Racing. On pavement especially, you are only as good as the race car you are in. You can’t make up for a big gap like you can in dirt. I feel like I am blessed to be able to be that guy. Multiple people can get in good race cars and win but it takes good people and a good environment to do that and I feel like we have a great team.”

CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT IT HAS BEEN LIKE TO WORK WITH GREG ZIPPADELLI THESE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS? “Yeah, we have been on a good run. Three out of four is pretty dang good. I was just giving him a hard time about coming out of retirement and he said he never did retire, he just changed roles. I think he has done a great job. We know he was going to do an amazing job. He is obviously accomplished. At the same time, Richard Boswell is our crew chief and our leader and he is still the guy setting these cars up every week and we get him back next week and Nick Hutchins our car chief and we are excited to have those guys back. I wish they could have celebrated these three wins with us but I know we will contend for more and hopefully we can all celebrate as a team again. I am just so blessed to be able to be the guy driving these great race cars.”

THE WHOLE IDEA OF THIS RACE WEEKEND AND THESE TWO RACES TODAY ON THIS TRACK WITH INDYCAR AND XFINITY. WHAT HAVE YOU ENJOYED THUS FAR ABOUT THIS TRIPLE HEADER WEEKEND AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE TWO SERIES DO DOWN THE LINE? “I think there is nothing to change. I know after today’s race that people might say to move the Brickyard to the road course but there is a ton of tradition to run on the oval here. I think really this is the perfect scenario for this weekend. To be brought back to what it used to be. To be at Indianapolis on Fourth of July weekend watching IndyCar and NASCAR, it doesn’t get any more American than that. I think this is a perfect scenario to bring this race back to life. I think next year when there are fans here with the show we put on today and what they will put on tomorrow, we are seeing a lot more fans coming and they will have an awesome fireworks show and everything else. It is the perfect family event and I am looking forward to coming here next year and seeing how many people we can fit in this place.”

WHAT ELSE DO YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO IMPROVE ON BEFORE YOU MOVE TO THE NEXT LEVEL? “I think just doing the little details right. Pit road is a big one. Maximizing pit road speed but not speeding. I have been caught speeding three or four times this year. Doing all the little things right. I want to get better as a race car driver in general and minimize mistakes. I feel like I have been doing a better job of that but I still make mistakes. A lot of times these races are won by the guy who makes the least mistake because everybody is going to make one or two but you can’t make big ones. Cleaning up the whole race, I feel like I could be a lot better at the beginning of these races. I feel like I kind of ride around but feel my car out, especially with no practice. I don’t rush my way to the front. I kind of pick my way in and out of cars and feel my way. That has been working for us because we have been able to continually be there at the end of these races. I need to capitalize on stage points. For as many wins as we have, we don’t necessarily have that many stage points because I haven’t been 110% aggressive from Stage 1. Like I said, the little details and doing little things right and being better at describing what I need in my race car. Coming fron the dirt world it was a fresh start and I feel like I have learned a ton in the last year and-a-half about setup, but I feel I could be a lot better.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE MADE YOUR CASE FOR MOVING UP TO THE NEXT LEVEL? I think I have proved I can win at different types of race tracks. I don’t think there is a certain criteria. It is all about what other people see. There are a lot of scenarios to go. You have seen guys have a lot of success at the Xfinity level and move up and struggle or guys like Jimmie Johnson who didn’t really have Xfinity Series success but moved up to Cup and is one of the greatest of all time. I am trying to do the best I can and win as many races as I can and let people be the judge of me instead of trying to judge myself. I am trying to do the best I can week in and week out. My biggest thing is that if I can move up, I want to do it in something that is capable of winning. I have no desire in moving into something that is a 15th-20th place car. I want to go win races. Nothing against those guys that are doing that but I feel like once you get into that 20th or 25th place race car it is really hard to get out of that label of being one of those guys. So I want to start my career if I get to move up to Cup in a top notch ride and learn good habits instead of learning bad habits driving worse handling race cars.”

AFTER YOU WON THEY REMINDED YOU NOT TO DO A BURNOUT ON THE BRICKS. DID THEY HAVE TO REMIND YOU OR BEING AN INDIANA GUY DID YOU KNOW THAT? “yeah, I knew better than that. I would have been the most hated man in Indiana if I did that. I will probably catch a little bit of hate about kissing the bricks for winning an Xfinity race. Cindric was giving me a hard time. We were talking about it before the race. He was saying there was no way he was going to kiss the bricks if he won. But I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. I may never win another race again in my career and especially here at Indianapolis. Like I was saying on TV. It is special no matter what track you win at here. You dream of getting to kiss those bricks. I wasn’t going to miss that opportunity.”

TONY STEWART TWEETED THAT HE IS VERY PROUD OF YOU. FOR A GUY YOU SAY IS YOUR HERO, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU? “It is humbling. I still get nervous when he comes around. When you look up to someone growing up they just make you nervous. Tony has been exactly what I pictured growing up. He is still my hero. He is a badass. He is racing sprint cars and winning races. He is a stud. It is so cool for him to look at me and appreciate what I am doing in his race cars. We are really similar. We both didn’t come from anything. We both grew up in Indiana about 45 minutes away from each other and both grew up racing sprint cars. We are pretty carbon copies. I like drinking Dr. Pepper and eating Oreos before races just like he did. It is cool to hear praises when you get them from your hero, that is for sure.”

HAVE YOU TALKED TO YOUR DAD YET? “Yeah, I haven’t been to my phone yet. I know he called me before the race and was telling me to go get it. I will never forget when I got a run here in 2018, he literally had tears in his eyes seeing that his son was getting to race Indianapolis. That was always a dream of his. To see how proud he was of me was pretty humbling and special. My whole family was over at my cousins house here in Indianapolis and I am sure they were going crazy. I am excited to see them. I am going to go to Putnamville tonight to the USAC race. My little sister has decided she wants to try to drive a race car. At the end of the night she is going to drive a mini-sprint around there for 20 or 30 laps. I am going to head there and see a lot of my friends I don’t get to see anymore and hang out with my dad and family for a couple days. I am going to stay here til Monday and then go back. Next week is another home race for me. It isn’t Indiana but Kentucky is a couple miles closer – speedway wise than Indy is. They are sentimental races coming up in Kentucky and we will try to go there and do the same thing.”

YOU WON THE INAUGURAL ROVAL AND INAUGURAL ROAD COURSE NOW AT IMS. YOU BEAT ONE OF YOUR BEST BUDDIES AUSTIN CINDRIC. DOES THAT SINK IN TO YOU OR GIVE YOU SOMETHING GIG YOUR FRIEND ABOUT? “It gives me a lot of pride. I remember watching AJ Allmendinger win Cup races on the road courses in not the best equipment. Cindric is a guy that I have looked up to on the road course stuff. He is incredibly good at what he does. He has driven so many different disciplines of cars. When I first started doing all this road course stuff with Ford and the IMSA stuff, I was five or six-seconds off the pace of what he was doing. He was really my mentor. Austin has helped me tremendously in the road racing side of things. We talked today and hung out for almost two hours before the race and that is the good thing about Austin. Me and him are really good friends and our biggest competitors. I am asking him questions that I don’t expect to get the truth from but he answers them 100% truthfully. I was able to watch his car in practice and ask him questions and what he tells me is the same thing I watched him do so I know he is not blowing smoke at me. That is what you want in a good teammate. Obviously we drive for different teams but the same manufacturer. My stock car career I grew up with Austin. We were teammates in ARCA and Truck. We were full time teammates and shared the Roush car. It is cool to be those guys because they are so good at what they do.”

HOW DID YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR GOAL OF 8 WINS FOR THIS YEAR? “Just going back and looking at the victories last year, they all had right around that. Those guys moving up obviously creates an opportunity to go win more races. I felt like at the end of last year I was able to run with those guys. I felt like we may not have the race wins but we ran up front a lot and I know what my team was capable of and down deep what I was capable of. It is weird to say but I feel like I have always thrived under pressure. It is kinda like Babe Ruth calling his shot. If I did that, I had to back it up. You go back to the Roval and I won it. A lot of people don’t realize I didn’t have a ride if I didn’t win that race. To have that pressure on myself, I feel like I thrive under pressure. Sleeping on couches volunteering in race shops and only having one race to prove myself. I had to do the best I could. Putting a number out there, if we get to eight, I don’t’ plan to stop at eight. I want to win more races and prove my worth. I felt like that was an attainable goal and something that if I put the pressure on myself it would give me something to shoot for.”

DOES IT MATTER TO YOU THAT THIS WIN WAS ON THE ROAD COURSE VERSUS THE OVAL OR IS IT SPECIAL NO MATTER WHAT? “I have said it earlier this week, it would truthfully mean a lot more to me to win on the oval. Nothing against the road course but the Indy 500 is on the oval. The Brickyard 400 is on the oval. There is a lot more history in the oval. Nothing against the oval. Growing up the races I came here to watch were oval races and I grew up an oval guy, not a road course guy. But to win the first one means a lot. Winning the first Roval, I didn’t realize how much that would mean to my career. A lot of people put a lot of significance into the first one to win something. It is still special to win at Indy. Any win at Indy is special. The traditionalist might get mad that I kissed the bricks for winning the road course but I won at Indianapolis and I may never get that opportunity again.”

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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