SHR Keeping an Eye On Briscoe

Chase Briscoe

One of Briscoe's six wins in ARCA came at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo: Bruce Senneke)

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Ford’s newest team owner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series, is already keeping an eye on the manufacturer’s most recent development driver, Chase Briscoe. 

The 2016 ARCA Series Champion has already caught the eye of Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart, before even turning one lap in a NASCAR sanctioned race.

“He’s got a lot of talent.” Stewart said. “We obviously saw that last year with what he did in ARCA (winning the Championship).”

Briscoe will drive for Brad Keselowski Racing next season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. His sponsor and truck number will be announced on Sunday.  Stewart and Briscoe have similar backgrounds. The two were raised in small Indiana towns just 62 miles apart from each other. They both cut their teeth on the clay racing open wheel cars at dirt bull rings such as Bloomington Speedway and Kokomo Speedway. Stewart even raced with Briscoe’s father Kevin Briscoe, who is an Indiana Sprint Car Legend. 

“I’ve followed Chase because of the fact that I raced with his father (Kevin)," he said. "Kevin’s career was kind of ending when mine was starting.

“Obviously when I learned about Chase because I know Kevin, it was easy to follow him as he came through the ranks. He did an awesome job last year and he is definitely someone we are going to keep an eye on as he develops.”

Stewart’s positive comments came as a surprise to Briscoe who calls the championship driver and car owner his hero.  

“It’s just an awesome feeling, being a sprint car guy growing up I’ve always looked up to Tony Stewart and he and my dad have always been friends.” Briscoe said. “I thought he was the biggest and baddest race car driver there ever was and his comments were special and very humbling, it would be a dream come true to drive for him someday I know that.” 

Briscoe’s story is one of persistence and determination. Just two years ago he was making cross country trips from Mitchell, Ind. to Charlotte, N.C. where he volunteered his time working in multiple ARCA Racing shops. He worked with Brian Keselowski Motorsports, the brother of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver Brad Keselowski and Cunningham Motorsports, a championship ARCA team, where he eventually worked hard enough to earn a chance. 

“NASCAR was always a goal, I really got my first taste at a stock car at the Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge,” Briscoe said, “Pretty much straight out of high school I moved down to Charlotte and nothing happened for 2 years and I was ready to quit before Cunningham gave me the opportunity.”

Briscoe earned a test and eventually a chance to race for the team and in 2016 made the most of his opportunity winning six races and ultimately the ARCA Series championship.  

Stewart says Briscoe’s work ethic is what has carried him thus far. 

“Chase is an inspiration of the way that it used to be, and the way that it still should be. When you got your opportunity on your merit and your talent.” Stewart said. “That’s why it’s fun to watch him and fun to pull for him because he’s worked hard to get where he is.”

Briscoe’s going to try and make the most of that opportunity racing for Brad Keselowski Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2017. He’ll visit tracks like Iowa, Pocono, Chicago and Kansas where he’s previously earned wins. He’ll be mentored by one of NASCAR’s greatest talents in Brad Keselowski.

“I’m truly blessed to have this opportunity to be backed by Ford and to have a great ride driving for Brad Keselowski Racing.” Briscoe said. “Two years ago I never thought any of this would happen because opportunities in today’s world in stock car racing don’t happen usually.”

And Stewart agrees, saying there are too many drivers who aren’t given the chance. 

“Unfortunately there aren’t enough kids like Chase that have that kind of talent who get that opportunity.” he said. “There are too many that come with rich parents and who have deep pockets that buy their opportunities.” 

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