Ford Performance – Chase Briscoe Transcript

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang – WELCOME HOME. WHAT’S YOUR WEEK BEEN LIKE SINCE COMING STRAIGHT HERE FROM MICHIGAN? “It’s been super nice just to be home. I feel like this is always my favorite week of the year, just knowing I get to come home and see my family. It kind of switched up on me – normally it’s Indy, then Michigan, and this year was Michigan, then Indy. So, came down and did Colts camp, which was super cool. I’ve always been a big Colts fan from just growing up here in the state of Indiana. Then I drove down to Mitchell, Ind., hung out with my grandparents and my parents for two days. Then I ran SRX Thursday night, then went to the Children’s Museum yesterday. Just hung out with family and friends, went to Eric Church last night with some buddies that I went to high school with. So, it’s been, honestly, nice to regroup because this season has definitely been a grind. I feel fresh again in a sense. So, looking forward to this weekend. This weekend is super significant to me. I feel like any race car driver in the field dreams of racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but when you grow up literally 60 miles down the road, it holds even more significance. Just super excited for this weekend, what this weekend always brings – the amount of fans that come out for this race and that come to support me, friends and family… it’s always just so humbling. I always try to put on a show for them, and I feel like I can always find that extra five or 10 percent every time we come here. Hopefully we can finally put one together. We’ve been close, but just haven’t been able to seal the deal.”

 

WHAT IS IT LIKE SEEING INDYCAR AND NASCAR TOGETHER AT IMS, AND WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS IF THIS IS THE FINAL YEAR? “I think this weekend and just the crossover is super cool. For me at least, growing up in Indiana, I was an IndyCar fan and you just kind of naturally are because you grew up here. So, for me, this weekend was cool just seeing the crossover. I feel like especially, prior to really this weekend when we started doing it two or three years ago, there was almost like this, ‘ You’re either an IndyCar fan or you’re a NASCAR fan.’ There wasn’t a ton of crossover. Where now, you see drivers from both disciplines coming and racing, and I feel like the fanbase has really kind of embraced each other. It’s just a great opportunity, and honestly, this Saturday ticket is one of the best in motorsports. You can come and watch an IndyCar race , you can watch an Xfinity race, you can watch the Cup cars practice and qualify – as a race fan, it’s a great opportunity and a great ticket to have. I don’t know if it’s going to go away, but if it does, it’s going to be a great ticket that will go away. I doubt they’d run the oval for IndyCar, but maybe they can still run if we do go back to the oval. The IndyCars could still run the road course while we run the oval. I don’t know how that’d work, but I think today is always cool from a race fan side of things. It’s getting to see three different disciplines, and three of the highest disciplines in North American motorsports all competing on the same track.”

 

HOW SURREAL WILL IT BE TO RACE A CUP CAR ON THE INDY OVAL? “I always tell everybody that for me, if you’re racing on the oval, the road course or the dirt track over there – even in the parking lot with quarter midgets, it’s special to get to race here. But I think it’s no secret that the prestige and history that the oval holds is definitely above the other disciplines that you could race here. So for me, I’ve been able to run two oval races in the Xfinity series and it was just the wildest feeling, truthfully, coming off Turn 4 every lap and seeing that front straightaway. I’m doing Cup test Monday and Tuesday, and it’s crazy to think that I’ll be one of three guys to drive this Next Gen car on the oval. So, if we get a race on it, the significance of what The Brickyard 400 is, it’s a crown-jewel. There’s no other way to say it. I think it’s the Daytona 500, then the Brickyard 400 is the second race that from a driver standpoint, everyone wants to win. So, I grew up coming to a lot of Brickyard 400s, and if we do come back, it would be super special. I’m just excited to see what this test holds Monday and Tuesday, and what it could mean for the future.”

 

YOU’VE HAD SUCCESS ON THE ROAD COURSE, ESPECIALLY IN THE XFINITY SERIES. DO YOU HAVE MIXED EMOTIONS BECAUSE YOU HAVE SUCCESS ON THE ROAD COURSE LAYOUT? “Every time we talk about going to the oval, I always tell people, from a history and significance standpoint, I want to go back. But, I do feel like from a winning standpoint, I have a little bit better of a shot on the road course. So yeah, for me, I’d still much rather run the oval. If I were going to win one or the other: For sure, for me and my career, I’d love to be able to say I’ve run a Brickyard 400. The road course wouldn’t hurt my feelings if we ran  twice a year – once on the oval and once on the road course. I don’t think that’s going to happen. It’s a little bit of mixed feelings, but truthfully, if everything comes together we can win on the oval too. But, I have had success in the past on the road course. So, you at least come here with confidence, where on the oval, you don’t have a ton of laps compared to a lot of guys. So, it is a little bit harder to be confident going into those.”

 

WHAT ABOUT ALTERNATING YEARS OF THE OVAL AND ROAD COURSE? “I mean, I do think that it’s no secret: The oval, The Brickyard 400, started out as packed, sold-out practically. Towards the end, it wasn’t really that. So, I think we had to do something to switch it up as a sport to kind of get it back. Obviously, we lost a crown-jewel doing that, but I do think that maybe that’s a possibility. You run the road course every two or three years in a row and then bring back the oval for the fourth year, because it definitely seemed like when you ran the oval every year, it did lose a little bit. But truthfully with this Next Gen car and how it’s raced on the oval, it might be this incredible race. I don’t know. I wouldn’t be against running the oval for the next three or four years But at the same time, I wouldn’t be against switching back and forth. I do think it’s hard to have a crown-jewel on the schedule, then take it away – bring it back, take it away. I think if we’re going to do it, I’d love to see it been a mainstay for at least a couple years.”

 

WILL THE TIRE TEST BE THE FIRST CHANCE YOU GET TO ACTUALLY RUN THE OVAL? “I ran two Xfinity races, but I think both of them were actually on Monday – or one was on Tuesday (rain postponement). So it was practically like a test day. There was nobody here.”

 

WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST ABOUT YOUR WIN HERE, AND HOW SIGNIFICANT IS IT STILL IN YOUR CAREER? “It definitely meant the world. I was crying in the car after. It just meant a ton. That day just in general… not that I was unknown, but I don’t think people even knew that I could be in the Cup series up to that point. Whenever I went and beat A.J. (Allmendinger) kind of straight-up, I feel like that really changed the conversation quickly as far as what my next year was going to look like. Up until that point, nobody even talked to me about Cup racing or anything. After that win, all the sudden the talks started to happen. That day was a super special day. I about threw the race away just being so nervous, knowing I was leading with a couple to go. That day, at the same time, is such a bummer day for me just knowing that there was absolutely nobody here. It burns me up to this day. I think that’s why I’ve put even more pressure on myself to be able to win here again, because I want to experience that with the fans, my friends, my family… I want to climb the fence and have people going crazy like Tony did. But when I did it, it was empty grandstands. Winning here regardless is special. But winning here during COVID did make it a little bit more of a bummer from a personal standpoint just with how much it meant to me, and everything else – not being able to experience it with everyone else.”

 

WE’RE GETTING CLOSE TO THE FINAL THIRD OF THE SEASON AND THE FINAL RACES FOR KEVIN HARVICK. WHAT DOES THIS TIME MEAN TO YOU AND BEING ABLE TO SHARE IT WITH YOUR TEAMMATE? “I’m just trying to maximize it, truthfully. Seeing a guy that’s done it at the level he’s done it, and having him as a resource… I only have 13 more weeks to use him as a resource. These past two or three weeks, I’ve been going to the simulator two hours early and watching him, asking him questions at the end – just trying to use as much as I can, and milk it as much as I can for as long as I can. Truthfully, I haven’t done a very good job once I got to the Cup series of using Kevin. In the Xfinity series, I feel like I used him a lot, and when I got to the Cup series, I just didn’t really use him anymore for whatever reason. These last couple of weeks, especially with how much I’ve been struggling here lately, I’ve been trying to get back to using him by asking him more questions. I wish I would have done it a lot more in these last couple of years. Especially now, as I’ve done it more these last couple of weeks, seeing how smart he is and how he approaches the weekends. There’s a reason why he’s going to be a first ballot hall-of-famer. For me not to use him week-in and week-out like I have these last couple of weeks has been ignorant on my part, truthfully. Kind of kicking myself for not doing that, but certainly going to try to use him these last 13 weeks to the best of my ability.”

 

DAYTONA IS CONSIDERED A “HAIL MARY” FOR DRIVERS LOOKING TO ADVANCE TO THE PLAYOFFS. WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF AGGRESSION THERE, COMPARED TO THE OTHER REMAINING TRACKS? “Truthfully, if I’m in position, I’m definitely going to be aggressive just knowing that it’s going to be probably our only opportunity. Especially, if it happens just once these next three weeks. The odds of it happening again may not be there. I’ll be pretty aggressive. But truthfully, we just haven’t had the speed in the cars lately to even be aggressive – whether it’s on pit calls, on the racetrack or anything. So, I do think that this weekend’s probably my best opportunity to be up in the mix. Daytona’s kind of what it is. At this point, it’s hard to say. I’ve not been great there, unless it rains. So, hopefully if I’m up in the mix, I’ll definitely be aggressive. I feel like the aggression level has been there all year, but I just haven’t had the opportunity to show it. Hopefully, this weekend I can show that.”

 

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