By: Ashley McCubbin
While there were a lot of unknowns heading into Chase Briscoe’s rookie NASCAR Cup Series season, he knows he will start 11th in the second Bluegreen Vacations Duel on Thursday night following his Daytona 500 time trial effort.
Although the focus is on the event setting the starting grid for the Great American Race, it will mark Briscoe’s first time in a Cup Series car in a race setting, giving him an opportunity to gain valuable experience. However, he notes wanting to be careful at the same time due to not wanting to tear up the primary car.
“It’s 60 laps or whatever that is and just really trying to learn as much as I can in that 60 lap period to prepare myself for the 500,” he told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “It’s a limited practice and not getting around in a pack I feel like it’s gonna be very crucial to learn as much as I can in that short amount of time, so just trying to maximize that and just get comfortable to all those things that are new to me now and just trying to be the best I can be for Sunday.”
Briscoe got his first feel for the draft during Wednesday’s practice session with his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, but admits nothing stood out in particular in being different from the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
“But I know talking to other people and just watching tape it’s gonna be a totally different deal when I’m 10th in the pack and there are that many cars in the field,” he added. “So it’s definitely gonna be a big experience for me tomorrow just to get out there and be around those guys and just try to learn as much as I can. A lot of these guys I’ve never even raced against, so just trying to learn their tendencies and then make them comfortable around me. If they’re gonna help me on Sunday, they need to feel comfortable where they can trust me, so just trying to do all those things.”
Fortunately, Briscoe will have one of his teammates in his Duel with him as Kevin Harvick will start third, and believes his teammate shows a lot of promise.
“Chase is a true racer,” Harvick told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “He’s got the pedigree to go out and do the things that it takes to figure this all out and got here for all the right reasons and that was because he knew how to race well and his racing IQ is very high, and in the end he’s just a great person. You always want to see good people succeed and he’s one of those and I’m sure there will be some bumps in the road, but he’s going to excel at being on the Cup side.”
Harvick has his own goals entering the Duel, with his eyes set on going out and trying to win the race.
“I think that’s the best thing you can do to try to put yourself in a good position and get the best quality reps that you can getting on pit road, getting in the pit stall, doing all the things you do in a normal race environment,” he explained. “So it’s basically a race that we need as far as reps and doing the things that you’re gonna do on Sunday. I think it’s worth it to go out and try to win the race.”