Event: Wawa 250 (Round 22 of 33)
Date: Aug. 28, 2020
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway
Layout: 2.5-mile oval
Chase Briscoe Notes of Interest
• Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 98 Ford Performance Racing School Mustang, returned to his winning ways last Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, scoring his series-leading sixth victory of the season but his first since winning July 4 on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 25-year-old racer from Mitchell, Indiana, started last after going to a backup racecar and proceeded to lead three times for a race-high 107 laps, including the final 13, to end a seven-race winless streak. Briscoe began the 200-lap race around the 1-mile, concrete oval at the back of the 36-car field after opting for his backup racecar when his primary machine was deemed too damaged after the prior day’s 200-mile race at Dover. The backup proved ready for the spotlight, as Briscoe wheeled it into the lead for the first time on lap 71 to take the Stage 2 victory. It was a prelude of the finish, as Briscoe won the race with a commanding 2.463-second margin of victory over second-place Ross Chastain.
• This weekend’s Wawa 250 marks Briscoe’s fifth Xfinity Series start at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and his fourth on the 2.5-mile oval. Briscoe’s most recent outing at the “World Center of Racing” came Aug. 15 in the Xfinity Series’ inaugural race on Daytona’s 3.61-mile, 14 turn-road course. Briscoe led twice for a race-high 26 laps in that race and won Stage 2, but on a restart with six laps to go, he was caught in an accordion-like crash at the entry to turn one as those around him overshot the corner. In fourth place as the field entered the layout’s first left-hander, Briscoe tried to clear the front runners by overtaking them on the outside. But the top-three cars each ran wide, pushing Briscoe off the track. As Briscoe came off the turn and onto a straight before the International Horseshoe, he got sandwiched between two other cars. This sent Briscoe spinning into the grass, whereupon the nose of his Ford Mustang sustained heavy damage. The team was unable to make repairs and Briscoe had to retire his racecar with a disappointing 29th-place finish. It was his first DNF (Did Not Finish) in 35 races, a streak dating back to July 5, 2019 at Daytona when Briscoe was collected in a multicar accident in the Firecracker 250.
• Briscoe earned his best Xfinity Series finish
when he came home fifth in the season-opening race at Daytona in February. It bettered his previous best result on Daytona’s oval – 12th in the 2019 season opener.
• Briscoe has two other starts on Daytona’s oval outside of the Xfinity Series. His first came in February 2016 when he finished fourth in the ARCA Series race. The second came in February 2017 when he finished third in the NASCAR Truck Series race.
• Briscoe heads to Daytona second in the championship standings, 62 points behind series leader Austin Cindric. However, Briscoe still leads the Xfinity Series in wins with six (next best has five) and playoff points with 35 (next best has 34) with five races remaining in the regular season.
CHASE BRISCOE, Driver of the No. 98 Ford Performance Racing School Ford Mustang:
What is your approach for this weekend at Daytona?
“Well, anything can happen at Daytona. Right now, we’re trying to maximize race wins, stage wins and playoff points so that we’re in the best position we can be in when the playoffs start at Las Vegas. We had a big lead in the point standings until the last five or six races didn’t go our way. Austin Cindric moved into that top spot, so the regular-season championship is probably out of the equation at this point. We’re going to keep trying to get back to that, obviously, but I think at this point the ‘22’ (Cindric) would have to have one or two bad races on top of us finishing really well for it to be within reach. Daytona is such a wild card that the regular-season championship could be back in play by the time we leave. We just need to focus on running our best race, no matter what.”
With only two Fords in the Xfinity Series – you and Austin Cindric – how does that affect how you run a superspeedway race?
“The superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega are always the races I wish we had more than two Fords in the field. It definitely makes it hard when we need to make moves and don’t always have that guy to go with us. You want to have friends that will work with you at these tracks, but I feel like the last few years the superspeedway races have been so manufacturer-driven, and one manufacturer doesn’t want their teams working with a different manufacturer. That’s what makes it tough for us. A lot of times you have the JR Motorsports cars up front or the Joe Gibbs Racing cars, and they’re just not going to go with us if we make a move. They’re going to stick with their teammates. One of the guys that no one really thinks about that I really like to work with in these races is Josh Williams. He’s a really good superspeedway racer, and a good driver in general, and I trust him more than I trust some others. If you go back to Talladega, he had the fastest lap of the race. We can use guys like that to break up those manufacturer packs and possibly be in a position to take our Ford Performance Racing School Mustang to victory lane.”