TALLADEGA – Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) visit Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for the second superspeedway race of the year. Briscoe finished 11th at the 2.66-mile oval last April and returned in October to finish 14th.
In the first superspeedway race of 2022, the season-opening Daytona 500, Briscoe scored his first top-five finish in Cup Series competition with a third-place result, then bested that finish two weeks later with a win at Phoenix Raceway.
Briscoe is 10th in the driver standings, 79 points out of first following last weekend’s Food City Dirt Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. He currently holds a spot in the 16-driver playoff field by virtue of his win March 13 at Phoenix.
You had a great run at Daytona, but the tracks are fairly different, so how do you approach this weekend’s race?
“I don’t think much changes from how we used to prepare for the superspeedway races. You know that anything can happen, so it’s important to be in the best position possible, but do we really know what that is? Sometimes it’s safer to be up front, sometimes you want to be in the back, out of the way. I think Daytona and Atlanta taught us a lot about how the NextGen handles in this type of racing, so you kind of know how the car is going to react in the pack or when you’re being pushed. We had some things we knew we had to look at but, overall, I think we should have a good run if we can just keep the car clean until the end.”
Briscoe is driving with more confidence this year.
“Yeah, I said earlier this year after the Phoenix win that I feel more like I belong in the Cup Series, and I think that has a lot to do with it. But I don’t know if there was one thing that changed it other than just experience. I’m here to win races and we work hard to make sure we put ourselves in position to do that. Races happen quickly and you have to make quick decisions. We know there are a few ways things could go when we make moves, but you can’t just hang back and stay out of trouble all the time. If I’ve got a chance to win or better my position, I have to take it. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and maybe you ruin someone else’s day, but it’s not on purpose. That’s never what I want and you hope that the other person understands, or is at least open to talking about it. You kind of know when you’re going to have to explain yourself and I have no problem doing that but, yeah, I definitely feel more confident in this position and all I can do is go out and do my best to put this team in position to win. We’re all really good drivers who are capable of winning and I feel more comfortable in my experience and knowing I’m capable, too.”
Briscoe has made four Xfinity Series starts at Talladega with a best finish of fourth in 2019. He also has one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start there in 2017 when he finished 22nd, and one ARCA Menards Series start in 2016, when he finished third. Briscoe completed all 454 laps available in his six career starts at Talladega.
Mahindra Tractors, a brand of Houston-based Mahindra Ag North America, returns to the No. 14 Ford Mustang for this weekend’s GEICO 500. Part of Mahindra Group’s Automotive and Farm Sector, Mahindra Ag North America is the No. 1-selling farm tractor company in the world, based on volumes across all company brands. Mahindra farm equipment is engineered to be easy to operate by first-time tractor or side-by-side owners, and heavy duty to tackle the tough jobs of rural living, farming and ranching. Steel-framed Mahindra tractors and side-by-sides are ideal for customers who demand performance, reliability and comfort at a great value. Mahindra dealers are independent, family-owned businesses located throughout the U.S. and Canada.