After winning the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, Chase Briscoe will tackle the full calendar in 2019. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver recently shared his thoughts going into the season with POPULAR SPEED.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts entering the season?
CHASE BRISCOE: I’m really exciting. It’s going to be nice to get everything going. We’ve had everything announced for a couple months, so we’ve had some time to think about the upcoming season, so I’m just really excited to get going. It’s going to be nice to just be in one place for the year, the relationship with my guys and my crew chief, and drive the same car every week. I’m just excited to get going, honestly.
PS: What are your goals and expectations?
CHASE: I truly feel like we can go win a lot of races. We proved last year that we can win races at that level, and Stewart-Haas probably has the best cars in the garage. Cole (Custer) last year won the owner’s championship, and I think that’s the plan – to go win races and the championship. That’s the goal every single week.
If you don’t think you can win races, in my opinion, you shouldn’t be going. So we defiantly have the mentality of thinking we can win each and every week, and we’ll let the results fall and see what happens.
PS: What track are you looking forward to the most?
CHASE: Honestly, probably Atlanta. Atlanta is probably the place that I feel the (No.) 98 is the strongest car. (Kevin) Harvick has won there the past two years, and Atlanta is probably one of my favorite tracks because it relates so much back to dirt racing, slipping and sliding around. Atlanta is probably the one place I’m excited to go to most.
Plus, it’s so early in the year that it’s a good place to see where you stand and get some momentum rolling. Daytona is kind of a throwaway in seeing where you stack up with the competition.
PS: What is one track that you wish was on the NASCAR schedule that currently isn’t?
CHASE: Eldora. Really, any dirt track, but Eldora has been proven in the truck series that it works, and I feel like right now, even at the Cup level, they have every discipline of race track – even at the XFINITY level. They have local short tracks, intermediates, and superspeedways. So, in my opinion, I think we need to tie it all together and have at least one dirt race to kind of test and see where everybody is at.
PS: What did it mean to you to break through and get that win at the ROVAL last year?
CHASE: It was huge. To even pick it up at the ROVAL and be the first guy to win there is certainly huge. It was a big deal. The first three years I lived in North Carolina, I slept on a couch probably just five miles from the track in Charlotte. To have it come back full circle and to win a race at Charlotte and have it be my first XFINITY Series win, certainly something that’ll stick with me forever.
I’m excited to get back there last year and if you would’ve asked me anywhere you thought I’d get my first win, the road course definitely wouldn’t been it. Hopefully we can do it again next year.
PS: NASCAR made a considerable announcement that they are going to strip wins away for illegal cars. What are your thoughts on the news?
CHASE: I think it’s good. I think for the fan’s sake, for sure. I think they should know who won the race when they leave. In my opinion when there’s a grey area, it makes it really tough and now it’s going to be either legal or illegal. I think teams will definitely play it a little more conservative then they have been. In the past, there wasn’t really any big penalty for them to do it. Now if you end up getting penalized, you’re going to run dead last so there’s certainly a huge penalty now, whereas before it was just a money fine.
I think you won’t see it – maybe once, but I think all the teams are going to play conservative with the risk now. I think it’s a good thing.
PS: If you were in charge of NASCAR for one day, what is one change that you would make to help the sport?
CHASE: That’s tough. I honestly think the one thing would be I would have a free admission race to get people back to the track and see what a good time they could have. I know a lot of tracks probably wouldn’t want to do it, but if I could do one thing, that’s probably what I would do in having a race where it’s free admission to get in and let all these people to see the event. Potentially, they may not have gone to a race if they had to pay, and they may come to the free race and get hooked. That’s the one thing that I would do.
PS: We’ve seen a lot of drivers running different cars and series recently. What is a series/type of car that is on your bucket list to one day try?
CHASE: I’ve been fortunate to run a bunch of different series and racecars my whole life, and even just this past year. Probably the two that would stick out – the Robby Gordon (Stadium Super) Trucks look pretty cool, as well as Rallycross. I think both of those would be really fun to try.
PS: What would be your advice to someone trying to get into racing?
CHASE: I think the biggest thing that I’ve always tried to do is treat everyone how you want to be treated. I think that goes a long way. You may have drove for a team three or four years ago, or you may be just trying to get started, and if you’re nice to someone and they like you and respect you, you don’t know who they might know that may help you down the road.
Honestly, the whole reason I’m in NASCAR was I was volunteering at a team for a year and a half and they ended up giving me a chance to drive their car, and we ended up winning races. So be willing to learn, volunteer your time, and treat everyone how you want to be treated.
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