Chase Briscoe

Driver, No. 14 Ford Mustang
Birth Date: Dec. 15, 1994
Birth Place: Mitchell, Indiana
Home Town: Mitchell, Indiana
Residence: Mooresville, North Carolina
Spouse: Marissa
Bio:
Chase Briscoe is a third-generation racer whose career began on dirt tracks in and around his home state of Indiana. Since he was 13, Briscoe has followed in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps, racing sprint cars on the rough and tumble bullrings of the Midwest.

It’s a lineage that makes Briscoe a natural fit for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), as the NASCAR team is co-owned by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, an Indiana native who also began his career on dirt and, despite massive success in multiple racing divisions, remains true to his dirt-track roots by continuing to race sprint cars.

Briscoe is well on his way to expanding his family’s name into NASCAR. The 2021 season marks his rookie year in the elite NASCAR Cup Series after a breakout 2020 campaign in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Briscoe won a series-best nine Xfinity Series races in 2020, earning a promotion to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021. He takes over SHR’s vaunted No. 14 Ford Mustang, which was first driven by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart (2009-2016) and then Clint Bowyer (2017-2020).

Since first joining SHR in 2018, Briscoe has delivered. This was exemplified on Sept. 29, 2018 when in just his 14th career Xfinity Series start, Briscoe won the inaugural race at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval. It was Briscoe’s first Xfinity Series win and it came with SHR, as Briscoe tapped into his dirt-track experience to wheel his Ford Mustang to a strong 1.478-second margin of victory.

“It drove like a dirt track instead of a road course, and it felt like I was in a sprint car,” said Briscoe after the race. “I just tried to make sure the rear tires never spun. I had to give up a little time coming off the corner, but I’d make it back up on the straightaway, and that’s why I was always better at the end of the run.”

A prelude to Briscoe’s Xfinity Series win at Charlotte was his victory two months earlier in the NASCAR Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. In his lone Truck Series start of 2018, Briscoe led three times for a race-high 54 laps on the three-quarter mile dirt oval, but still had to battle throughout the 153-lap race, taking the lead on the final lap to score his second career Truck Series win.

It’s no surprise that Briscoe’s two NASCAR victories in 2018 have ties to dirt. After all, the Briscoe name is a venerable one in the sprint car community.

Chase’s grandfather, Richard Briscoe, is a legendary sprint car team owner, who over time has fielded entries for 37 different drivers including such renowned wheelmen as Chuck Amati, Dave Blaney, Dick Gaines, Jack Hewitt, Steve Kinser and Rich Vogler. Chase’s father, Kevin Briscoe, raced sprint cars for over 20 years and won more than 150 feature events. He claimed track championships at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana, and Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway five times, including a streak of three straight titles.

?Chase Briscoe’s first time behind the wheel of a racecar came in 2001. Driving a quarter midget, he won his first heat race and then won the feature event later that evening. Briscoe moved on to mini sprints and, when he was 13, stepped into a 410 sprint car. In his first race, he finished 10th in a 40-car field. And in a rookie season that saw 37 starts, Briscoe racked up eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes, including a win in the last race of the season where he broke NASCAR Hall of Famer and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon’s record as being the youngest person to win a 410 sprint car race.

Briscoe continued to race 410 sprint cars in the Midwest, but by age 19, finances had become strained and Briscoe’s future racing prospects appeared dim. On a whim, Briscoe applied to a Facebook ad promoting the PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge, which was billed as “a chance to join Michael Waltrip Racing as a rookie stock car driver” despite having never driven a stock car on pavement or a car with a manual transmission.

Out of more than 700 applicants, Briscoe was one of nine prospects selected to participate in the three-day event at Charlotte. The contest used racecars from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, and it tested each driver in short-track racing, road-course racing, speedway racing, car control and endurance, along with off-track elements, such as media interviews.

Briscoe won all but one of the on-track competitions and appeared a lock to win the event, as fellow competitors were congratulating him by the end of the third day after Briscoe had advanced to the final three. Yet Briscoe didn’t win, but the Richard Petty Driving Experience instructors and Michael Waltrip Racing executives told Briscoe and his parents that he did, in fact, have what it takes to compete and succeed in NASCAR.

But, how to get there? With determination and perseverance.

Briscoe moved to Charlotte in 2014. He slept on friends’ couches and air mattresses. He worked for free. He stuck his foot in doors and made opportunities happen.

One such opportunity was an ARCA test at Nashville (Tenn.) Fairgrounds Speedway in early 2015 for Cunningham Motorsports. Briscoe was fast, but there wasn’t an immediate place for him, at least in the driver’s seat. So, he volunteered at the shop, arriving at 7 a.m. and leaving 12-13 hours later. Team owner Briggs Cunningham III saw Briscoe’s work ethic, and with an established history of helping aspiring racecar drivers, Cunningham decided to let Briscoe run two ARCA races – July 24 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Indiana, and Sept. 19 at Salem (Ind.) Speedway. Briscoe responded by finishing 10th in his ARCA debut and followed it with a fifth-place finish at Salem.

Briscoe thanked Cunningham for the opportunity, first by phone and then in person. As Briscoe made the offseason drive home to Mitchell, Indiana, from Charlotte, he took a 45-minute detour to Cunningham’s home in nearby Kentucky. “I just want to shake your hand and say, ‘Thank you,’ said Briscoe upon arriving at Cunningham’s home. The two hit it off, and after a long conversation, Briscoe headed home. The next day he got a call. Cunningham’s No. 77 Ford was his for the 2016 ARCA season.

The switch from sprint cars to stock cars was finally on. Briscoe responded by winning six races and the championship by a whopping 535 points.

Boosted by that ARCA title, Briscoe has thrived in his transition to NASCAR. He advanced to the NASCAR Truck Series in 2017, earning four poles and winning the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His 10 top-five and 14 top-10s allowed Briscoe to make the playoffs, finish sixth in points, and score the series’ rookie-of-the-year and most-popular-driver awards.

Briscoe parlayed a limited Xfinity Series schedule in 2018, where he drove for both SHR and Roush-Fenway Racing, into a full-time drive for SHR in 2019. And in his first full season of Xfinity Series competition, Briscoe scored a berth in the NASCAR Playoffs by earning his second career Xfinity Series win in July at Iowa Speedway in Newton. He also scored two poles and 13 top-fives and 26 top-10s to finish fifth in the championship standings, all of which earned Briscoe the rookie-of-the-year title and set him up for his breakthrough, nine-win season in 2020.

Briscoe resides in Mooresville, North Carolina, with his wife Marissa.