Ford Performance NASCAR: Briscoe Dominates For Xfinity Win at Kansas

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2020
KANSAS SPEEDWAY
FORD PERFORMANCE DRIVER – POST RACE QUOTES

FORD FINISHING RESULTS:
1st — Chase Briscoe
28th — Austin Cindric

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 Ford Performance Racing School Ford Mustang (FINISHED 1st) —


American Muscle

VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW – “First off, I just want to dedicate this to Brian Egans. He lost his life last week and was a close family friend’s brother-in-law. I am happy we got him in victory lane. I am super happy to be locked into Phoenix. It is going to be a lot less stressful the next two weeks. That will be nice. I can’t say thank you enough to everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing. This Ford Performance Racing School Mustang was lights-out. This is the car we had at Vegas. I want to take it to Phoenix because of how good it was. It is so cool to get all our partners in victory lane. HighPoint.com, Fields Production Alliance Group, Mobil 1, Go Bowling. It has been an unbelievable year but we have three more to go get.”

WHAT ADVANTAGE DOES THIS GIVE YOU FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS TO BE COMPLETELY FOCUSED ON PHOENIX AND NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT TEXAS OR MARTINSVILLE? “It allows the guys at least to focus on the car. I am glad after all the chaos at the beginning of the race, a lot of those guys are going to be in scary points situations. I am glad we don’t have to deal with that. It is crazy to win nine races this year. It has been an unbelievable year and hopefully we can finish it out strong.”

WITH ALL THE CHAOS THIS EVENING, WERE YOU WORRIED YOUR MOMENT MIGHT HAPPEN? “I was so close down the backstretch when Noah (Gragson) and Austin (Cindric) and them guys crashed. Honestly Austin, I don’t know how he kept it going straight. He was wrecked in front of me three or four times. That is a good thing that my Ford Performance teammate kept it straight because we were definitely in that one and that would have ended our night. I am looking forward to going to Texas with no stress.”

CHASE BRISCOE POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE

NINE WINS AND YOU ARE LOCKED INTO THE CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR. HOW ARE YOU FEELING RIGHT NOW? “I feel great. It was definitely a really good night and it is just awesome to start both rounds of the playoffs the way we did to dominate. The car we ran tonight was actually the same car we ran at Vegas. I wish we could take this thing to Phoenix because it has been unbelievable this year. It has won three races and ran second in the other one. Hats off to everyone at Stewart-Haas to bring the caliber of cars that we have brought to the playoffs. Hopefully we can continue this the next three weeks and most importantly at Phoenix.”

YOU HAD SAID THE CAR WAS LOOSE AND HAD A VIBRATION EARLY IN THE RACE. WERE EITHER OF THOSE THINGS THAT BIG OF A DEAL? “The vibration was really concerning because it was right from the get-go, lap one of that run. It continued to get worse and then it seemed like the last 10 or so laps it kind of mellowed out. that was a huge concern. I thought for sure we had a loose left rear. The freeness didn’t necessarily worry me, just because I knew if I maintained the lead I would be alright. The 19 was able to run with me the first 15-20 laps of a run and I was worried if we got in a late race situation, kind of like we did, that if I didn’t let the guys know how loose I was that we might not get on the other side of it. We made the adjustment at the end and it was certainly a lot better.”

SOME OF US IN THE MEDIA ARE PRETTY CONFIDENT THAT WE KNOW WHAT YOU WILL BE DOING NEXT YEAR. ARE YOU AS CONFIDENT AS WE ARE? “I talked to Tony (Stewart) and everybody at SHR this week and they said to focus on this week and then we will talk about it. I think winning the race is certainly going to help that situation. We will go into next week and anytime you can bring a trophy back it helps the cause. We are staying hopeful though.”

RYAN SEIG ADMITS THEY DON’T HAVE THE EQUIPMENT OF MOST PEOPLE. I AM CURIOUS, YOU PROBABLY HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN AROUND HIM A LITTLE MORE THIS YEAR THAN PAST YEARS. IS THERE MUCH YOU SEE THAT IS DIFFERENT FROM HIM AND THAT CAR? “Yeah, for me, I was so excited to see Ryan run that good and the same with any of the underdog guys. I am not great friends with Ryan by any means but I love the underdog story. It reminds me a lot of myself just because literally four or five years ago I was sleeping on couches and volunteering in race shops just trying to get the opportunity. To see Ryan get the opportunities he has been getting this year to drive faster race cars, he has proven that he can do it if he is in good stuff. It is cool to see guys like that outperform what their equipment is considered and shows how good of a race car driver he is. If the roles were reversed he could win races. It is cool to see those guys run good and it is fun to race with Ryan all year long and see him up in the front.”

LOOKING TOWARD NEXT YEAR FOR YOU. THERE IS A LOT OF DISCUSSION IF IT IS WORTH MOVING DRIVERS UP FOR ONE YEAR BEFORE THE CAR GOES TO NEXT GEN THE FOLLOWING YEAR. FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, IS A CAR A CAR OR DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE? “I get both sides of it. At the same time, to me, the amount of experience you would gain just running one year even of the old car and getting to race against those guys and see their tendencies and get humbled quite a bit and make you go learn more, to me that experience is invaluable. I think regardless of what the car is going to be, yeah you are at a deficit already from an experience standpoint but if you wait until the new car you will be at a deficit from an experience standpoint. If you can get that experience, even in a totally different car, I think just that experience of running longer races and getting to learn how those guys race and what they do on restarts and certain situations. I find myself everytime that Kyle (Busch) or Denny (Hamlin) come and run the Xfinity Series I learn so much just being around them. If I was able to move up to the Cup Series next year, I feel like I could learn so much by getting to race 36 races against them. I get both sides of it. I get the people that say you probably shouldn’t move up if it is an irrelevant car but at the same time the experience of getting to go racing against those guys is almost more valuable than just throwing away that car for a year.”

YOU HAD CLINT BOWYER’S PIT CREW TONIGHT. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN DOING BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC SITUATION? “No, we have had Clint’s pit crew all year long. The SHR guys, last year we had the 10 or maybe the 14’s pit crew. Cole had the other. That is just something we do and we have used them all year long from Daytona on. They have done a really good job for us. I think week in and week out we have been the best pit crew on pit road and I can’t think of a single time we have lost positions.”

YOU SAID YOU WERE DEDICATING THIS RACE TO SOMEONE? “His name is Brian Eagans. He was diagnosed with cancer two months ago. A really close family friend of ours, his brother-in-law. My dad went to school with him. I went to school with his son and we graduated together. A guy from Mitchell that is a family friend.”

DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BE IN THE CUP SERIES NEXT YEAR? “Honestly, I don’t know right now. I think me doing what I did tonight will only help my cause. I don’t think it will hurt it by any means. If I can keep doing this the remainder of the playoffs, not that it will make their decision easier or harder, but I am only helping my situation anytime I go win a race. That is all I am focused on right now.”

HAS SHR TOLD YOU ANYTHING ABOUT THE PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR? “No, I have asked them as soon as Clint announced his deal. They said they are working on it and trying to figure something out and that I should just focus on the playoffs. I know they said we would circle back next week and obviously a win will help.”

ARE YOU THE CHAMPIONSHIP FAVORITE? “I don’t know. There are so many guys in this series that can win week in and week out. We have to do our deal. We have to go there and focus on the 98, nobody else. I would certainly say that if Allgaier or one of those guys makes it to Phoenix, he is pretty unbelievable there. I think it is up in the air. Whoever the four guys are, they all deserve to be there and anybody can beat anybody on any given day, so we have to go there and do our job.”

HOW DO YOU APPROACH TEXAS NOW? “Same as it has been all year long. Go there and try to win. I keep saying that every race is an audition to try to go to the next level or stay at the level you are at. For me, there are still things that I can do better and three races left to still win. I don’t think we treat it any different. Point wise, we don’t have to worry about points anymore but we will go there with the mentality to win and try to lead every lap. That is the mentality we have had all year long.”

TWO YEARS AGO YOU WERE A BASIC UNKNOWN AND NOW YOU ARE ON THE VERGE OF A CUP RIDE. WHAT HAS THAT BEEN LIKE, THIS RIDE FOR YOU? “It has been unbelievable. Truthfully every day I still wake up and can’t believe that I am in the position that I am in. 2015 I was literally sleeping on couches and volunteering at race shops. I was moving back to Indiana. I was over it. I had been in North Carolina for over three years without a single test or ride or anything. I was getting turned down to even go volunteer at race shops. I was just over it. I didn’t think there was anything for me down here. Literally the week I was moving back home is when I got a call from Cunningham motorsports and they changed my life by giving me an opportunity to go run their ARCA car. The success we had in 2016 got me a Ford Development deal. I was supposed to be with Brad’s (Keselowski) truck team for two years. It gets shut down and kind of throws everything in a spiral. I go and do a part time deal between Roush and Stewart-Haas and truthfully ran terribly. In my opinion I was going to lose my Ford deal at the end of 2018 but I go and win the Roval and then the next thing I know they were trying to keep me at Stewart-haas. My career has been so close to ending so many times. To have the success we have had this year is just unbelievable to look back on. For me to get to drive for Tony Stewart is unbelievable. When I go back to Indiana in my hometown, my bedroom still has Tony Stewart stuff everywhere. I was a die hard Tony Stewart fan. I used to literally dress up in a Home Depot uniform and helmet and play my Sprint Car video game every single day. And now I get to drive for the guy and got a win at Indianapolis for the guy and won eight other races. It is unbelievable. Hopefully I can win the championship.”

YOU’VE KNOWN HUNGER, BOTH LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY AS YOU HAVE TRIED TO CHASE THIS. HOW MUCH DOES THAT MAKE YOU A BETTER DRIVER OR A POTENTIALLY MORE DANGEROUS DRIVER GOING FOR WINS. THE HUNGER FACTOR. HOW DOES IT PLAY IN? “I think that has been the biggest thing for my entire career. Nothing against these guys that come in and buy rides but they don’t have to win races or run good. They can run 10th-15th evey week and they are fine. I have to win races to prove my worth because I don’t come with money. Having that hunger, I think a lot of that too helps me keep things in perspective. Perfect example, last year I was 12 laps away from locking into the final race and I get crashed by a lap car. I could have been mad and upset but at the end of the day I am getting to drive race cars for a living and never thought I would get to do that. I think it helps me keep things in perspective but also helps me be hungry and that helps in situations like this.”

TONIGHT WAS YOUR NINTH WIN OF THE SEASON, ONE WIN SHY OF THE RECORD FOR MOST WINS IN A SEASON BY AN XFINITY SERIES REGULAR. 10 WINS ON THE YEAR, CAN YOU DO IT? “I’d like to hope so. The sickening part is I think we have given four or five a way where we were 10 or less laps away from winning the race and I threw it away or sped on pit road or something like that. that is going to happen and you can’t hang your head on those but we have three opportunities to go win races and that is what I want to go do. It is crazy to be even in the conversation with guys like that and to be able to win one race at this level is unbelievable, let alone nine in one season. It has been an incredible year and we have three races to try to win and that is what we are going to try to do.”

YOU ARE KIND OF KNOWN AS THE PEOPLE’S CHAMPION IN THE WORLD OF SOCIAL MEDIA. WHEN YOU GET THESE WINS, HOW COOL IS IT FOR YOU TO SHARE THESE WITH THE FANS ON REDDIT AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS? “It is super cool. This year, that is the only way we can interact with them. Reddit has been great to me. I am on there 24-7 it seems like. My wife gets mad. Between Twitter and Reddit I am always scrolling and that kind of makes her upset. When I get on the plane, I am going to load the race thread that is on Reddit and I will literally go through and read every comment that is good or bad. If they are bad I will kind of joke around with it and have fun with it and same with people that congratulate me. I have always enjoyed doing that. It goes back to when I was a fan. I would tweet at drivers and if they liked it I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I try to be that same way. It is literally hitting a heart on a tweet or whatever that can make someone’s day and I love doing that. I wish that we could have fans here week in and week out but social media is the only way we can interact with them right now and it is fun to get on there and see how it has evolved.”

YOU HAVE BEEN A MAN OF FAITH THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER. WITH THE INCREDIBLE SUCCESSES AND LOWS YOU HAVE HAD, HOW MUCH HAS YOUR FAITH HELPED YOU KEEP A BALANCED APPROACH? “I think your faith is easy to be good when times are good. It is easy to say your faith is great when everything is going good. It is when you have the bad times that you lean into that. For me, the stuff that me and my wife experienced this year was the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life. To go through the emotions, literally from one day to the other, the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. I wouldn’t have gotten through that without my faith. I think that is one thing that separates me from a lot of people. I try to really show my faith and try to kind of be that light for other people. That even goes for my victory celebration and my thing that I do every time. It blew my mind the amound of poeple that had seen oru story from the miscarriage and had been lead to faith. A perfect example, a couple weeks ago, someone on Reddit said they got baptised because of that story. If we can help one person going through something bad then it is all worth it.”

HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON THAT YOU WOULD BE RIGHT UP THERE WITH LEGENDS OF THIS SERIES IN WINS AND GETTING CLOSE TO THAT DOUBLE-DIGIT WIN MARK? “I knew that we were going to be able to compete for wins this year. That is why I said what I said at the beginning of the year. I truly felt like we could go win eight races. I don’t know if I would have thought that we would have won some of the races that we did. I felt like we could go win places like Homestead and stuff like that but I never would have thought that we would win at the Indianapolis road course or Pocono or even Bristol. Places that are iconic in our sport. It has been a crazy year. To have your name even close to those guys is very humbling and a huge honor. I would love to get into the double-digit marks but like I keep saying, regardless it has been an amazing season. Whether we win the championship or not it isn’t going to definie the year that we have had. I think that we have had a great season and that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try to win the next three and the championship but it has been an amazing year and I can’t say that enough.”

PHOENIX IS A PLACE YOU HAVE STRUGGLED AT IN THE PAST SO HOW MUCH OF AN ADVANTAGE IS IT FOR YOU TO HAVE TWO WEEKS TO PREPARE? “I don’t know if it gives us any advantage. Truthfully we have been working on the Phoenix car for a while now. If anything it allows us to be a little less stressful the next two weeks. Like you said, Phoenix is a place that is not my best race track and not one I necessarily look forward to. I wish Homestead was still the final race because I feel like that is probably my best track on the schedule but with the schedule change it didn’t work out that way. If we can win the championship, it is going to take winning the race I feel like. For me, winning at Phoenix would be a huge accomplishment and one of the proudest things I have done because I know how bad I have been there and how much work and effort I have put in to get better there. I feel like I have made progress every time we go but there is still a lot to go and hopefully we can close that gap to the 7 and guys like that and go there and run good.”


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