HighPoint.com Racing: Chase Briscoe Pocono Advance

What makes a lap at Pocono so challenging?

“I think the challenging thing about Pocono is just the fact there are three different corners, so your car’s not going to drive good in one of them or maybe even two of them. So you just know that going in and hope that your car’s somewhat balanced in all three, but know there’s a good possibility your car’s probably not going to drive good in one of them. That’s the kind of fun part, but challenging part, of running at Pocono.”

What makes the Tunnel Turn so difficult?

“I think the Tunnel Turn is probably the most difficult corner just due to the fact that it feels super flat, it’s extremely high-speed, it’s the tightest-feeling corner, and it’s by far the roughest corner. You go over the tunnel and the asphalt is kind of moving all over the place, so it’s got a lot of content to it, and that makes it a real challenge to go through there.”

How big of a deal is aero at Pocono, specifically, battling through dirty air when you’re in traffic?

“Everywhere we go, dirty air is certainly a struggle, but at Pocono, it’s one of the worst ones just because of the speed you’re going. And then also due to the fact that your car’s not going to handle very good in a couple of the corners, just from a setup standpoint, and the dirty air just makes it that much worse. You’re drafting down the straightaways and it’s just hard to get away from people there because the draft is so big and there aren’t a ton of lane options. So you’re just kind of limited in where you can go to get clean air, which makes Pocono a challenge.”

Pocono seems to have a road-course element to it – some flat, fast corners, some bumps, plenty of shifting. Does that make it a track that puts more of the race in your hands?

“A little bit. It’s a place where there’s always a lot out of your control, in general, just with the strategy and how much is going on, kind of the bigger picture of the race outside of what I’m doing inside the car. The pit crew and the crew chief play a huge role in your day at Pocono in just trying to play the strategy right and catching cautions and things like that. I feel like winning at Pocono is one of the harder things to do because it takes an entire day from start to finish. You can’t really be off from a setup standpoint, from a strategy standpoint, really from any standpoint, if you’re going to have a good day at Pocono.”

You won at Pocono in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In fact, you did it in your third and final Xfinity Series start there. Was that win a result of your experience at Pocono, because you knew what you needed in your racecar, or was it just a matter of taking a really good car and delivering with it?

“Our car was definitely really, really good that day. Some things also went our way that day, as well. It’s the hard thing about Pocono – you can be the best car there and one untimely caution during a green-flag cycle can really set you behind. So it just goes back to having everything go your way, because it’s so hard to be fast and so hard to get through the field. But having a fast racecar makes it way easier at Pocono.”

What, if anything, is applicable from your time in the Xfinity Series at Pocono to your time there now in the NASCAR Cup Series?

“I feel like Pocono is one of those tracks where, no matter what car you’re in, there are tricks to that racetrack, and what makes each car go fast around there is kind of the same thing. I definitely think there’s stuff you can take away more from there in other series than there is anywhere else we go. Plus, you don’t get a whole lot of laps at Pocono, in general. It’s a 50-something-second lap, so in practice you don’t get a lot of laps in, and even in the race, it’s not like it’s a super-long race. Just getting more laps at Pocono is always something that’s beneficial, and I also feel like it’s one of those places where you just have to have an open mindset going into it and really embrace what it is.”

Pocono is the home track for your primary partner, HighPoint.com. You want to win everywhere you go, but is there added incentive to win in HighPoint.com’s backyard?

“Yeah, for sure. Any time you go to one of your sponsor’s home races, you always want to go and perform in front of their home crowd. HighPoint always has a ton of employees and guests out there, so it’s important to run well. It’s always fun to go up to Pocono and be in HighPoint’s backyard.”

Before you race at Pocono, you’re going to make your first career start in the NASCAR Canada Series on Thursday night at Ohsweken Speedway, a 3/8-mile dirt track in Ontario, Canada. What are your thoughts going into that race?

“I have absolutely no idea what I’m getting myself into. I don’t know the team and I’ve never been to the racetrack. I’ve watched videos of the racetrack before with the World of Outlaws and stuff like that, but I have no idea what the car is like, what it has for a motor, what it drives like, anything. All I know is it’s a dirt race and I’ve always enjoyed running the Truck Series and the Cup Series on dirt. They reached out and asked if I had any interest in doing the Canada Seriesrace up there and I’ve always enjoyed going to Canada, so I said, ‘Why not?’ The few times I’ve been up there to race in IMSA and the Truck Series, the fan base has always been incredible. I’m excited to go up there, but I have no idea what I’m getting myself into. It’ll be fun, I’m sure. Any time you can go run a dirt race, it’s going to be fun.”

It sounds like that race will get you out of your comfort zone. Does doing that make you a better NASCAR Cup Series driver?

“Any time you feel uncomfortable, it helps you. The more you can make yourself uncomfortable and put yourself in different situations, I feel like that makes you more versatile and makes you better on Sundays. That’s the reason I go and run the sprint car and late models and midgets, just trying to get out of my comfort zone and just do something that I don’t do every single week. I feel like it definitely makes me better on Sundays.”

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