Event: Darlington 200 (Round 5 of 33)
Date: May 19, 2020
Location: Darlington Raceway
Layout: 1.366-mile oval
Chase Briscoe Notes of Interest
• The Darlington 200 is the fifth event of the 33-race NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule. It will mark the first event for the Xfinity Series since racing went on hiatus following the March 7 LS Tractor 200 at Phoenix Raceway.
• Racing was forced into hibernation by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Briscoe made sure he stayed sharp. The 25-year-old from Mitchell, Indiana, competed in numerous iRacing events on both asphalt and dirt track tracks, and when he wasn’t in his sim rig, Briscoe was mastering the art of hibachi-style cooking and knocking out home-improvement projects while keeping up with his two French bulldogs, Ricky and Callie.
• Briscoe comes into Darlington second in the championship standings, just three points behind series leader Harrison Burton. Briscoe has three top-10 finishes this season, highlighted by a win Feb. 23 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
• Briscoe has just one NASCAR start at Darlington. It came in last year’s Xfinity Series race when Briscoe started fifth and finished sixth in the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200.
• Briscoe won the 2019 rookie-of-the-year title in the Xfinity Series and is racing for a championship in 2020. He is a three-time winner in the Xfinity Series and the 2016 ARCA Racing Series champion. 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.
CHASE BRISCOE, Driver of the No. 98 HighPoint.com/Ford Performance Racing School Ford Mustang:
Were you able to learn anything from watching Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race that will help for when you take the green flag on Tuesday?
“I felt like I learned a little, but I think I’ll learn the most after talking to the Cup guys. Track conditions will likely be a little different for us with our race starting later. The more information we can get for our HighPoint.com/Ford Performance Racing School Mustang, the better since we’re running what we unload. It looked like each of the Stewart-Haas Racing cars was strong at some point in the race, with Kevin Harvick being the strongest at the end, so I think we can get some good feedback from our teammates.”
You spent a lot of time iRacing during the sport’s hiatus. While it’s not the same thing as real racing, do you feel like it kept your mind and reflexes sharp?
“Doing any type of racing keeps you sharp and in the right state of mind, and iRacing is, for sure, a part of that. There’s so much similarity between how you drive a track on iRacing and in real life. If you lose your focus for a second, that could mean a mistake that costs you or someone else a good finish, and I think we saw a lot of that in some of the Saturday Night Thunder races.”
How difficult is it to race at Darlington, even when you have plenty of track time beforehand?
“What makes it tough is it’s just so different from every track we go to. The groove, the surface and the shape are unlike any on the schedule, and it’s so narrow. You’ve got to take care of your tires or you aren’t going to be able to make any moves for position and move around on the racetrack to find speed. Under the lights at Darlington is going to be different, for sure. It’s easy to make mistakes – we saw that on Sunday – so patience is going to be the most important thing. I’m ready to be back in the HighPoint.com/Ford Performance Racing School Mustang and I’m ready for the challenge of Darlington.”