HighPoint.com Racing: Chase Briscoe Atlanta Advance

CHASE BRISCOE
Atlanta Advance
No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

Event Overview
● Event: Ambetter Health 400 (Round 2 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 25
● Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia
● Layout: 1.54-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 260 laps/400 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 60 laps / Stage 2: 100 laps / Final Stage: 100 laps
● TV/Radio: FOX / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Notes of Interest

● Chase Briscoe got his 2024 season off to a solid start by finishing 10th in the season-opening Daytona 500, held Monday after persistent rain postponed The Great American Race to the President’s Day holiday. It was Briscoe’s 22nd career top-10 finish and his second top-10 in seven career Cup Series starts at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

● Atlanta Motor Speedway has been around since 1960, but the Atlanta track Briscoe and his NASCAR Cup Series brethren will compete on this Sunday is only two years old. The 1.54-mile oval was reconfigured after the final race of the 2021 season. The banking was increased from 24 degrees to 28 degrees and the track was narrowed from 55-feet wide to 40-feet wide, and it was all covered in fresh asphalt. The goal of the reconstruction was to recreate the kind of pack-style racing seen at the behemoth, 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway and the even bigger 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Drivers competed on the new layout for the first time in March 2022 and the Ambetter Health 400 will be the fifth Cup Series race on the revamped track.

● The Ambetter Health 400 will mark Briscoe’s seventh NASCAR Cup Series start at Atlanta. His first two starts came on the old configuration, where his best finish was 15th, earned in July 2021. Despite the new layout in 2022, Briscoe equaled that finish in the debut of “new Atlanta” in March, where he started from the pole and led five laps. Fifteenth remains his best career Cup Series result at Atlanta.

● Outside of the NASCAR Cup Series, Briscoe has four other Atlanta starts. He ran three NASCAR Xfinity Series races at the track, each on the old layout, and never finished outside of the top-15. His best result was ninth in June 2020. He made a lone NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at Atlanta in March 2017 and finished 25th.

● Riding along with Briscoe this weekend at Atlanta is HighPoint.com, a leading provider of technology infrastructure solutions. HighPoint has been a partner of Briscoe and Stewart-Haas Racing since 2020 when the company supported Briscoe’s NASCAR Xfinity Series campaign, a collaboration that netted a season-best nine victories and earned Briscoe a promotion to the NASCAR Cup Series. HighPoint has climbed the NASCAR ladder with Briscoe and has helped Stewart-Haas maximize its IT investments. Said Briscoe about the partnership: “Even though we race stock cars, there’s nothing stock about what we do. The science of our cars is impressive, but the technology that goes into building our Ford Mustangs and then making them perform is even more advanced. Our IT needs are pretty complex, and we demand a lot from our technology every day, whether it’s at the shop or at the track. HighPoint provides efficiency and security. They’re more than just a sponsor – HighPoint is a partner that helps us perform.” As an IT Solutions Integrator focused on all things that connect, HighPoint helps its customers with the selection and supply of network infrastructure, mobility, collaboration, data center, security solutions and the risk-mitigated implementation and management of their technology. The company, founded in 1996, is a minority-owned business headquartered in Sparta, New Jersey. HighPoint serves markets in its nearby tri-state region (New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware) and the southeastern United States via its presence in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as globally with offices in Amsterdam and London. To learn more about HighPoint’s solutions, please visit HighPoint.com.

Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang

How much does the racing at Atlanta emulate the racing you just experienced at Daytona?

“It’s similar in a sense, but very different in the sense of just how fast things happen. The mental side of Atlanta is, by far, the hardest thing we do all year long. It’s a mile shorter, so while it’s very, very easy to run wide open the whole time when you go to Daytona or Talladega, at Atlanta your car is struggling just to even get close to that. There’s a lot more to the team side of things at Atlanta as far as getting the balance of the car right, and it’s just a challenge for us mentally with how fast things happen and how quickly you have to process things.”

Did Daytona provide some understanding of how you think the racing will be at Atlanta?

“I feel it’s an animal all its own, it’s so different. Maybe you can take the slightest bit from Daytona, but I think it’s hard to really say what you’ve got. I feel like the only thing you can really take out of Daytona is how the new Ford body pushes. It gets pushed, but even that will be a little bit different at Atlanta with just how the runs develop and things like that. It’s hard to say if you’re good at Daytona then you’ll be good at Atlanta, or if you’re bad at Daytona, you’re going to be bad at Atlanta because they are so very different.”

How do you feel about the racing at Atlanta?

“I think it’s the most mentally draining racetrack we have on the schedule. Daytona and Talladega have always been mentally draining, at the end of the day, but you go to Atlanta and things happen four times the speed because you lose a mile with that racetrack. It’s an interesting track because it races like a superspeedway, but it’s still an intermediate. The corners didn’t change. The radius of the corners, all of that is still the same as we’ve always had, so it’s not like a Daytona or a Talladega where your car goes around there wide-open super easily. You’re manhandling the car at all times, so Atlanta is a very challenging racetrack and, by far, the most mentally draining with just how much your brain is trying to process and listen to your spotter. Actually applying what your spotter is saying is hard because things happen so fast there. It’s a tough one, for sure.”

How much does time in the simulator prepare you and the team for Atlanta?

“Sim gives you a decent direction, but it’s hard to say what you’ve really got until you get there. Especially with this new body, our notebook of even what the sim is and what this new body is so small. So I don’t know if you can take a whole lot out of the simulator right now until we get a bigger notebook and really say, ‘Hey, this was better. This is what it’s actually like in real life.’ Atlanta is going to be a tough one, and we don’t have practice there, either. So it’s going to be interesting to see how we’re going to unload there and, hopefully, our HighPoint Ford Mustang drives well in the race.”

There are two new faces at Stewart-Haas in Josh Berry and Noah Gragson. How has the dynamic changed at the shop with the new personnel joining the team?

“I feel like our teams have done a better job of working together. In the past, it was kind of four different teams that worked under one roof, where now it’s four teams kind of collectively working toward the same goal for one organization. All of that has been different and a good change, something that we’ve needed to do, especially in the landscape of the NextGen car. I’m excited to see how it finally goes now that we’ve started racing, but it’s definitely been a totally different dynamic than what I’ve had the last three years, for sure.”

You’re now the most tenured driver at Stewart-Haas. What’s that like?

“We’ve got four guys who, truthfully, are extremely hungry. All four of us only have one Cup win combined, so we all have a lot to prove. We all know what we’re capable of. We’ve all grown up as complete opposites, but we’ve all kind of have grown up the same way by just grinding throughout our career. It’s just different now with not having Kevin (Harvick) and Aric (Almirola) there with how much more I’m going to have to speak up and stand up for things I believe in, so all of that will be interesting and it will be something I learn as I go along, but it’s definitely a different dynamic.”

Even though this is your fourth NASCAR Cup Series season, all of which have been at Stewart-Haas, does this feel like a new start?

“I definitely think the whole organization has hit the reset button. Tony said it in the SiriusXM interview the other week – there’s no need to look back when we’re at the bottom. We’re all motivated. I think every guy and girl in the shop knows that if we don’t figure it out, our job is on the line. He’s already come out publicly and said he’s willing to make changes, so I think that’s good. I think we kind of need that kick in the butt as an organization to have it publicly said, something that I think we all kind of knew was out there but it’s never been said, so I definitely think this year is a little bit of a clean slate. I will say that, just going to the shop, there’s a whole different feel. When I went there last year, it was doom and gloom every time I would go in there and now everybody is excited. Everybody has been ready to go and it gives me that same vibe that we had in 2020, where everybody is excited to go to work. It’s something we haven’t had in a long time there, so I’m excited to see how the season finally stacks up.”

No. 14 HighPoint.com Team Roster

Primary Team Members

Driver: Chase Briscoe

Hometown: Mitchell, Indiana

Crew Chief: Richard Boswell

Hometown: Friendship, Maryland

Car Chief: J.D. Frey

Hometown: Ferndale, California

Engineer: Mike Cook

Hometown: Annapolis, Maryland

Spotter: Joey Campbell

Hometown: Berlin, Connecticut

Over-The-Wall Members

Front Tire Changer: Shayne Pipala

Hometown: Frankfort Square, Illinois

Rear Tire Changer: Dakota Ratcliff

Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee

Tire Carrier: Jon Bernal

Hometown: Holland, Michigan

Jack Man: Dylan Moser

Hometown: Monroe, North Carolina

Fuel Man: Corey Coppola

Hometown: Bluefield, West Virginia

Road Crew Members

Underneath Mechanic: Stephen Gonzalez

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Interior Mechanic: Trevor Adams

Hometown: Plymouth, Wisconsin

Tire Specialist: Keith Eads

Hometown: Arlington, Virginia

Shock Specialist: Brian Holshouser

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Engine Tuner: Jon Phillips

Hometown: Jefferson City, Missouri

Transporter Co-Driver: Todd Cable

Hometown: Shelby, North Carolina

Transporter Co-Driver: Dale Lackey

Hometown: Taylorsville, North Carolina

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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