WATKINS GLEN, NY – Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 HighPoint.com team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) return to NASCAR Cup Series competition this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International following a rare, two-week hiatus while NASCAR television partner NBC and its family of networks covered the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 90-lap event marks the fifth of seven NASCAR Cup Series races to be held on road courses in 2021.
In the last road course outing five weekends ago at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Briscoe matched his career-best Cup Series finish of sixth, first earned May 23 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
The HighPoint.com driver finished sixth in his only NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Watkins Glen. He finished in the top-10 in all but three of the 10 road-course races in which he competed in the Xfinity Series, including a victory in last year’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And in his lone NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start on a road course – in 2017 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario – Briscoe finished seventh in a Ford F-150.
Prior to Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen, Briscoe will compete in Friday’s ARCA Racing Series race in the No. 14 Huffy Bicycles/Parker Boats Ford Fusion. The Cup Series rookie most recently used the ARCA race as a primer for the Cup Series event at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. He started third and led all 51 laps en route to his first ARCA West Series victory.
Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
You had a nice two-week break, but now we’re back with just four races to go in the regular season. How are you feeling about making your first Cup Series start at Watkins Glen?
“It’s only been two weeks but it feels like forever, so I’m looking forward to getting back to racing. This year, our best results have come on the road courses and now we’ve got two back-to-back, but Watkins Glen is probably lower on the list of my favorite road courses. I’ve only raced there once, so I don’t have a ton of experience there and, like every other track, having no practice will make it that much more challenging because it is a track where the car is maybe a little more important than the driver’s road-course racing ability. I’m going to run the ARCA race on Friday to get some more time on track, learn the turns and try to figure some things out.”
Some call Watkins Glen an aggressive road course. Would you agree?“Yeah, in some ways. Watkins Glen is so different than some of the other tracks we go to. It’s not a very technical track, but it is very high-speed, so the car is more important. At other road courses, you can kind of beat the car up a little and it’ll still be OK, but you need that aero at The Glen. There really isn’t a slow corner like we have at some other tracks, so you have to have a car that is fast and that you can be aggressive with. It’ll be hard to make up ground on some guys if you get behind. There’s not as much wheel spin there, so you won’t be able to go in and play chicken with one of the other guys, but there are some areas where you can make up a spot if you’ve got the car that can handle it.”
Right now, you’re in a position where you have to win to make the playoffs so, for the next four races, do you roll all the dice to have a shot?
“I would think so, but I’ll leave that to Johnny (Klausmeier, crew chief) since he’s calling the shots. I think the next four races probably are all wild-card races and anything can happen. There’s so much strategy at the road courses and that’s where we’ve been the strongest, so it could happen. Michigan is the 550 (horsepower) package, so whoever can figure that out will be the best, and we all know at Daytona anything can happen. We’ll do whatever we can to try to get a win, but I think these next four races will be pretty exciting for everyone watching.”