Chase Briscoe at Texas Motor Speedway. (HHP/Jacy Norgaard)

Briscoe Beginning To Catch Fire Despite Frustrations

Chase Briscoe’s second season in the NASCAR Cup Series was a solid one in 2022 – a victory at Phoenix Raceway and a berth in the NASCAR Playoffs. 

Since then, it’s been miserable. A 30th-place finish in points last season with only eight top 10s made for a rough season for the Stewart-Haas Racing driver.

Lack of speed out of SHR’s four Ford Mustangs has been well documented since last season. With 2014 Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick retiring at season’s end last year, there were a lot of unknowns out of the SHR stable. 

However, Briscoe is beginning to show signs of life aboard the No. 14 Ford. 

A 10th in the season opening Daytona 500 was a stout start for Briscoe. Add in a ninth at Phoenix a few weeks later and two straight 13th-place finishes at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and Circuit of The Americas (Texas) and the No. 14 was beginning to show signs of life.

Last week at Martinsville (Va.) Raceway Briscoe was frustrated after placing 10th, believing “we were definitely way better than 10th.”

He continued to show consistent speed as Briscoe and the No. 14 team finished a stellar sixth in Sunday’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Mirroring last week, Briscoe was left disgruntled at the finish, however, for good reason. 

Briscoe might’ve had an even better finish if it wasn’t for a lap 173 spin alongside Bubba Wallace while battling for the lead. 

“That was frustrating. Our Mustang was really good,” Briscoe said. “Obviously, we were able to finish fifth in both stages, and we had done everything perfectly up until the point of the wreck. We were going to be the leader. The 23 (Bubba Wallace) was on way older tires, and I knew if I was beside him going into three, I was going to come out the leader. 

“We both ran into (turn) one so hard and let the 21 (Harrison Burton) put us three wide. He was probably more worried about me, and honestly, it screwed both of us because we both wrecked. We kind of got lucky at the end when we went back to the back and caught a really lucky caution.”

Recapping his day, Briscoe believes a victory for the No. 14 team may be around the corner based on their recent showings at the track. 

“Our Rush Truck Centers Ford was really good today. Way better than sixth place,” Briscoe said. “I feel like I keep saying it is frustrating because we are way better than that speed wise but overall it was a really solid day and really solid points day. 

“I feel like our win is right around the corner. We just have to clean up a little bit of stuff.”