DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Chase Briscoe built his motorsports résumé by competing on dirt tracks throughout the United States, turning his grassroots racing team into a contender in the process.
However, outside of the March 28 NASCAR Cup Series race on dirt at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, don’t expect to see the Mitchell, Ind., native slinging mud much — if at all — this season.
Much like his friend and rival, Christopher Bell, did during his rookie year in the Cup Series, Briscoe told reporters during Daytona 500 Media Week on Monday afternoon that he’ll curtail his dirt racing to focus on his first season at NASCAR’s top level.
Briscoe explained that, in his eyes, taking a chance on racing for fun and putting his day job in jeopardy should he happen to get hurt wasn’t something he wanted to do — at least not in his first year at the wheel of the No. 14 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing.
“I would love to go do more dirt stuff, but I think it’s risk vs. reward, for me especially,” Briscoe said. “My whole life, really, these last seven years … all I’ve tried to do is get to the Cup Series. Now that I’m finally here, I don’t want to necessarily risk going and getting hurt and throwing away this opportunity, because it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m probably going to hold off on the dirt stuff during the season. Once the Chili Bowl and the end of the season comes around, I’ll definitely start running some more stuff, but during the season I’m just going to focus on the Cup Series.
“I’m really trying to do the best I can do,” Briscoe added. “While I do think that going and running other things certainly helps, there’s also that risk of getting hurt and that extra risk is something that I probably don’t need to be taking right now. I don’t know. I might try to run the Indianapolis race (the BC39 for USAC midgets) depending on how the season is going and how we’re looking points-wise. It’s something I would definitely like to do more of, because having grown up doing that, it’s obviously one of my passions.
“Even as a team owner, it’s something I really enjoy doing, it just financially has to make sense.”
In the past, Briscoe has fielded sprint cars and midgets under the Chase Briscoe Racing banner for a mix of top talent, including veterans such as Dave Darland, Thomas Meseraull and Dale Blaney, as well as young gun Logan Seavey.
Briscoe owns a 600cc micro sprint that competes on occasion at North Carolina’s Millbridge Speedway and tipped he might use that car to prepare for the Bristol dirt race.
While his team isn’t necessarily open for business currently, Briscoe added that he does have a passion for team ownership and maintains an interest in giving back to the grassroots levels of the sport.
“I would love to be able to go find young kids that don’t have the means to go race in top-tier stuff and go give it to them, so maybe in the future that will be something that is a possibility, but as far as me racing this year, I’m not going to do too much,” Briscoe noted. “I still have my mini sprint that I’m going to have Dillon Welch drive out at Millbridge, pretty much all season long. That’s fun for us to do.
“I might hop in it a time myself before the Bristol dirt race, just to have the test day and try to get back in the dirt routine, but, other than that, I won’t do any dirt racing.”