Event: Xfinity Series Doubleheader (Rounds 24-25 of 33)
Date: Sept. 11-12, 2020
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway
Layout: .75-mile oval
Chase Briscoe Notes of Interest
• This weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Richmond (Va.) Raceway marks the series’ fourth and final doubleheader of the season. Two Xfinity Series races will be held on back-to-back days at the .75-mile oval and each race is 250 laps. Friday’s Go Bowling 250 begins at 7 p.m. EDT and Saturday’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 250 begins at 2 p.m. NBCSN and SiriusXM will provide live coverage of both races.
• Chase Briscoe’s No. 98 Ford Mustang will feature Go Bowling for the first time in 2020. Go Bowling, the consumer-facing brand of the bowling industry, is utilizing its longstanding partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to promote its Go Bowling America league program to consumers across the United States. The Go Bowling America league program focuses on bringing families, young adults and kids alike back to the lanes in a healthy and safe fashion, as centers around the country have implemented strict measures to ensure the wellness of its employees and customers who come to bowl. Go Bowling, in conjunction with its industry partners, has introduced detailed safety protocols to the thousands of U.S. bowling centers that include social distancing recommendations, use of personal protective equipment where required, and guidelines for sanitizing balls and shoes, as well as other equipment in the facility. Additionally, the Go Bowling America league program provides every bowler who joins at a participating bowling center with his or her own, brand-new bowling ball to minimize shared contact.
• Briscoe has finished no worse than 10thduring the three previous Xfinity Series doubleheader events this season and has twice closed out the doubleheader weekend with a win – June 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Aug. 23 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Briscoe’s wins at Homestead and Dover followed tumultuous beginnings for the No. 98 team in each of those doubleheaders. At Homestead, Briscoe started the first race of the series seven laps down after losing equipment on the pace laps of the 147-lap event. He drove from last to a seventh-place finish on Saturday and captured the win on Sunday after a two-lap shootout with Brandon Jones. In the first Xfinity Series event at Dover, Briscoe spun on lap 78 while contending for third place, but bounced back to score a top-10 result. Though the No. 98 team was forced to unload their backup Ford Mustang for Sunday’s race at the Monster Mile, Briscoe once again drove from the back of the field to first, leading three times for a race-high 107 laps to earn his sixth win of the season.
• Briscoe enters Richmond second in the regular-season championship standings, 54 points behind series leader Austin Cindric. However, the 25-year-old racer is already well positioned for the Xfinity Series Playoffs, which starts Sept. 26 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With three races still remaining in the regular season, Briscoe leads in two important categories – wins (Briscoe has six, next best has five victories) and playoff points (Briscoe has 35, next best has 34). This season will mark Briscoe’s second season of playoff eligibility. He finished fifth in the title race last year, narrowly missing out on advancing to the Championship 4 and competing for the series championship. Nonetheless, the performance earned Briscoe the 2019 rookie-of-the-year title.
• In three career Xfinity Series starts at Richmond, Briscoe has one top-five and two top-10 finishes with a best result of fifth in last year’s Go Bowling 250.
CHASE BRISCOE, Driver of the No. 98 Go Bowling Ford Mustang:
What are your thoughts heading into Richmond?
“Richmond is the one track I struggle at more than any other to get the balance I’m looking for in the racecar. We’ve obviously had practices there in the past and, truthfully, I feel like I’ve probably tuned myself away from what I needed during those sessions. During practice my car would be pretty good, and then during the race it was totally different. It seemed like when I would try to help one thing, I hurt another. Ideally, the guys have our Go Bowling Ford Mustang ready to unload where we need to be to where I can’t steer us in the wrong direction.”
Does having two races and two chances to get comfortable with the track make you feel more positive about finding success?
“I think it will help to race two days in a row and have the chance to apply to the second day what I learned on the first and get a better grasp of the place. But then again, one race is at night and one is during the day. Every time we’ve been there, I was good during practice during the day, and then at night my car wasn’t handling the best. Hopefully, the day race will play into our hands. Richmond would be the biggest surprise to win, but I hope we show up with some speed and can get it done. Richmond is about as close as it gets to Phoenix, so it’ll be a big weekend for us to also see what we can learn to carry through the playoffs and take to the championship race.”
You’ve talked about how important it has been for the team to have a notebook from last year in terms of preparing for tracks where you’re still learning. Other than looking back on those notes and spending time in the simulator, how else do you prepare for these races?
“At tracks where I feel like I have a lot more to learn, I usually try to talk to a couple of guys before we get there. Usually I go to Kevin Harvick and for this week I’ll probably reach out to Tony (Stewart) because he was always really good at Richmond. In the past, I’ve reached out to Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. about tips to get around there. He was always really good there in the Xfinity car and even in the Cup cars. I try to use all of my resources when we’re set to visit tracks where I struggle.”
With three races to go in the regular season, is the goal to try and get as many playoff points as possible?
“The best thing we can do is just trying to make sure we have a five-point playoff point lead over the ‘22’ (Austin Cindric). More than likely, he’s going to win the regular season championship, but if we can be five or six ahead that puts us tied or one up going into the playoffs. So that’s probably the biggest goal right now is just trying to make sure we can do that. That obviously requires winning stages and races. I felt like we had a good opportunity to do that at Darlington, but it just didn’t work out. We were in the right position though, so we’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing each week and hope that it works out for the best.”