Event: Cheddar’s 300 presented by Alsco (Round 7 of 33)
Date: June 1, 2020
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
Layout: .533-mile oval
Chase Briscoe Notes of Interest
- The Cheddar’s 300 presented by Alsco is the seventh event of the 33-race NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule. It will mark the third event for the Xfinity Series since racing returned May 21 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway after a 10-week hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The No. 98 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang will carry the name of Xfinity employee and National Guardsman Peterson Ferlene Monday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. Ferlene has eight years of active service in the National Guard, and on March 23 he began providing critical service at Hard Rock Stadium near Miami in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of his duties include screening and directing first responders, along with the general public, as they arrive for testing at the stadium. Ferlene has been a communications technician with Comcast since January 2018 and he recently appeared in the Florida Region Tech Agenda thanks to his heroic actions on Feb. 6 when he saved the life of a Comcast customer.
- In four career Xfinity Series starts at Bristol, Briscoe has two top-five finishes, both of which were earned in 2019 – a fourth-place effort in the April 6 Alsco 300 and a second-place drive in the Aug. 16 Food City 300.
- In addition to his Xfinity Series experience at Bristol, Briscoe has one NASCAR Truck Series start at the .533-mile oval. In 2017, Briscoe started 15th and finished 12th in the UNOH 200.
- Briscoe comes into Bristol as the championship leader with an eight point-advantage over second-place Austin Cindric. Briscoe has three top-five and four top-10 finishes this season, punctuated by victories Feb. 23 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and May 21 at Darlington.
- Briscoe was poised for another strong result in his No. 98 Ford Mustang last Monday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway until oil on the racetrack sent him into the turn-three wall 47 laps short of the finish. Briscoe began the race from eighth in the 37-car field and climbed to as high as second. Following pit stops at the end of the second stage, Briscoe’s race began to come undone as he was cited for a series of pit road penalties over the course of the next 50 laps. Mired in the middle of the field, Briscoe became a victim of circumstance on lap 156 when his No. 98 Ford Mustang slipped up the banking and into the wall after the engine on Timmy Hill’s Toyota broke and spewed fluid onto the racetrack. While the No. 98 team was able to make repairs, Briscoe returned to the track in 18th, two laps down to the leaders. But on lap 172, a cut tire sent Briscoe back into the wall, deepening the damage to his racecar.
- Briscoe won the 2019 rookie-of-the-year title in the Xfinity Series and is racing for a championship in 2020. He already has one title to his name – the 2016 ARCA Racing Series championship. Briscoe finished fifth in the Xfinity Series championship standings last year, narrowly missing out on advancing to the Championship 4 and competing for the series title.
Bristol is a track that is known to be very tough on drivers, but you earned top-five finishes in both races there last year. What does it take to be successful at Bristol?
“The key to being successful at Bristol is just being versatile. The track changes, the racing changes, and you just never know what’s going to happen. You also have to be good in traffic because when something happens, it happens fast. I think that’s where my dirt background helps. Bristol keeps you on your toes.”
This is the first short-track race of the year and, once again, you’ll take your first laps on the racetrack when the green flag drops. Is there a difference between having no practice at a track like Darlington or Charlotte compared to a short track like Bristol?
“I think they all equally present different challenges. Bristol will probably be the hardest for the team to unload close to what we need for the race just because of the travels and not knowing how the traction compound affects the car. Those are the two biggest things you look at in practice or qualifying, and it is harder to prepare for that.”
With the race being moved to Monday night from its original afternoon start time on Saturday, does that change anything in terms of the team’s preparation for the race?
“That’s something we definitely have to think about, but we race during the day and during the night at Bristol already, so we have data from last year that we can go back to. That’s something we didn’t have for Darlington or Charlotte, and I had to look for input from the Cup guys and other guys in the garage. We ran really well at Bristol last year, so I feel good about our chances of finishing up front in our HighPoint.com Ford Mustang.”