Chase Briscoe Las Vegas Advance

LAS VEGAS – After finishing 10th in the season-opening Daytona 500, Chase Briscoe had momentum into the year’s second race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver was on the cusp of his second career NASCAR Cup Series win last Sunday at Atlanta, consistently running among the top five, often running side-by-side for the lead.

Chase Briscoe

But Briscoe’s bid for victory came undone 21 laps short of the finish when a struggling racecar ahead of him bunched up the cars around Briscoe’s No. 14 Ford Mustang, sending Briscoe spinning into the outside retaining wall. After qualifying ninth and running strong throughout the race, Briscoe was left with just a 31st-place finish.

The Las Vegas 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will mark Briscoe’s seventh career NASCAR Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile oval. His best finish was a fourth-place drive in October 2022, but the track has proven to be challenging otherwise, with Briscoe scoring just one other top-15 result – 14th in September 2021.

Chase Briscoe

In the City of Lights, Briscoe was lights out at Las Vegas regarding the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In five career Xfinity Series starts at Las Vegas, Briscoe won twice and had two other finishes of 11th or better. Briscoe left Las Vegas in the best way possible. He won both times in his final two Xfinity Series starts at the track by sweeping the slate of races in 2020, leading 253 of the 400 laps available (63.3 percent).

 In his lone NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at Las Vegas in September 2017, Briscoe was strong and consistent, qualifying third, leading 40 laps, and finishing third.

Briscoe says Las Vegas will be the first test where teams stack up in relation to one another.

“For sure,’ said Briscoe. “Vegas is going to be where you finally figure out, not only as a manufacturer but certainly as a race team, where you’re going to stack up for the next couple of months and where you’ve got to get better. I would say Vegas is certainly the racetrack where 90 percent of the garage has circled as the one they’re most looking forward to seeing if what they did in the offseason will come to fruition.”

“I think this is going to be the first true test to see where you stack up,” added Briscoe. “Daytona, Atlanta and the Clash are such niche racetracks and not really what we do week in and week out. There might be a few small correlations over to Vegas, just how it does down the straightaway in the draft, but 99 percent of what we do at Vegas will come down to how the manufacturer did behind the scenes during the offseason, coming up with the new body and how the teams did applying the new offsets and deltas. I would say Vegas is the one I had circled the whole offseason. I’m just excited about what we have, what we think we have. You never know until you get there so that it will be entertaining.”

“The new Ford Mustang Dark Horse does everything better this year,” said Briscoe. “It gets through the corner better, gets down the straightaway better, and handles better overall. I know that we started in November by running what we had just run during the season at Vegas, and when we put the new body on the car, it was nearly two- to three-tenths faster. So it should be way better, but ‘should’ is always the big question mark. Hopefully, everything our tools are telling us will be accurate, and if it is, I think it will be a good season for us.”

Briscoe had a fourth-place run at Las Vegas in October 2022, but it’s been tough sledding there since.

“That’s been a place where, in the Xfinity Series, I had pretty good success,” added Briscoe. “And then, in the Cup car in 2022, I ran pretty well there. So I feel like I know what I need to get around that racetrack and it’s always been a racetrack that I’ve really enjoyed going to and feel comfortable at. It was definitely a tough road last year. We couldn’t ever seem to get the car’s balance quite right. Hopefully, this year, we can get back to the winning ways we had in Xfinity and the up-front running we had there in 2022, and if we do that, we’ll obviously be in the mix. So, that’s what we’ve got to go there and do. It’s just a matter of putting all of those things together and, hopefully, all of our tools and everything will lead us down the right direction and we can unload really quick and just put our whole weekend together.”

Chase Briscoe

Briscoe shared what a driver must do when their car isn’t right.

“At Vegas, you at least have some options if your car isn’t running well. There are some tracks you go to where it’s tough to do anything; it’s so one lane or one groove is really more dominant than the other. At Vegas, depending on the weather, you can definitely move around and try different things, more so in turns one and two than three and four. In three and four, it seems like the bottom has become the place to be. Vegas is very rough compared to a lot of the tracks we go to, so how you hit the bumps and things like that, you can manipulate your car and manhandle it in certain ways to get it to do what you want it to do, to a certain extent.”

Briscoe was lights-out at Las Vegas in the Xfinity Series, winning two races there – swept them in 2020 – and two other finishes of 11th or better.

“Our car was just really good there. You’ll continue to see that with Stewart-Haas on the Xfinity side. They’ve always had a really good package at Vegas. Look at Riley (Herbst) getting his first win there last year. Our cars always drove really well there, so it always made my job really easy. It was really good for us to be really good at Vegas, truthfully, in the Xfinity stuff. It always started your season. It was one of the first races, so going there and winning early was always good. And, obviously, it was always in the playoffs where you could set yourself up for a Championship 4 run. For us in 2020, it was important to be good there, to get ourselves into the playoffs early, but then also to be able to try to go to the Championship 4. It’s the same this year. It has the same amount of significance in the Cup Series. You go there early in the year trying to set the groundwork for the summer, and also, you go there in the playoffs to try to set yourself up for a Championship 4 run.”

Brisco shared his thoughts about the difference between the Xfinity Series and the Cup Series, both in terms of the cars but also in terms of the caliber of talent through the field.

Chase Briscoe

“The cars are definitely different, more so now than ever with the NextGen car. But for sure, the biggest thing when it comes to Cup racing and how it differs from Xfinity is the competitive side of things. If you’re driving for one of the top teams in the Xfinity Series, you can have a bad day on pit road or even make mistakes on the racetrack, and you’re still going to be able to recover for a top-10 day, or right around there. The number of cars that can win is a lot smaller, whereas on the Cup side, 30 cars can win, and 20 of those cars are typically pretty close on speed, so you can’t afford to make a little mistake. You won’t be able to go to the back of the field and drive back through the field. When you look at the Cup Series, every team is incredibly strong, and every racecar driver in the field has won at every level they’ve been at. On the Xfinity side, you don’t have that many guys who are incredible racecar drivers capable of winning any weekend in any series that they run. I think that’s the one thing that stands out most about the Cup Series – it’s probably the most competitive racing series in the world regarding not only the number of teams that can win but the number of drivers who can win.”

Mahindra Ag North America is in its third year as the anchor sponsor for Briscoe and the No. 14 team after extending its partnership with Stewart-Haas during the offseason. The multi-year agreement with the NASCAR team co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart and industrialist Gene Haas continues to feature Mahindra Tractors, a brand of Mahindra Ag North America, on Briscoe’s No. 14 Ford Mustang for the majority of the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. The red-and-black No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang made its debut in the 2022 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum and then won in just its fifth race as a primary sponsor when Briscoe drove to victory on March 13, 2022, at Phoenix Raceway. The win secured Mahindra Tractors’ place in the NASCAR Playoffs and earned Briscoe the honor of being the 200th Cup Series winner in NASCAR history. Houston-based Mahindra Ag North America is part of Mahindra Group’s Automotive and Farm Sector, the world’s No. 1 selling farm tractor company, based on volumes across all company brands. Mahindra offers a range of tractor models from 20-75 horsepower, implements, and the ROXOR heavy-duty UTV. Mahindra farm equipment is engineered to be easy to operate by first-time tractors 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. Mahindra dealers are independent, family-owned businesses located throughout the U.S. and Canada.