Mahindra Tractors Racing: Chase Briscoe Dover Advance

CHASE BRISCOE
Dover Advance
No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang Dark Horse

Event Overview
● Event: Würth 400 (Round 11 of 36)
● Time/Date: 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday, April 28
● Location: Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway
● Layout: 1-mile, concrete oval
● Laps/Miles: 400 laps/400 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 120 laps / Stage 2: 130 laps / Final Stage: 150 laps
● TV/Radio: FS1 / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Notes of Interest

● With a 12th-place finish last Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Chase Briscoe maintained his streak of quiet consistency that has allowed him to climb from 18th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings four weeks ago to 12th entering Sunday’s Würth 400 at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang Dark Horse for Stewart-Haas Racing has scored seven straight top-20 finishes, with the last three being no worse than 12th. With 16 races to go before the championship cutoff where only the top-16 drivers are eligible to compete in the 10-race title chase, Briscoe has a 23-point margin over 17th-place Kyle Busch.

● The Würth 400 will mark Briscoe’s fourth career NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover. In three prior starts at the 1-mile, concrete oval, Briscoe’s best finish is 13th, earned in May 2022.

● Briscoe’s stats in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Dover are far more impressive. In the stepping-stone division to the elite NASCAR Cup Series, Briscoe competed at Dover five times, earning a win, three top-fives and four top-10s. His worst finish was 19th, earned in his first Xfinity Series start at the track in October 2018.

● Briscoe’s NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Dover was impressive. On Aug. 23, 2020, Briscoe started sixth and led three times for a race-high 107 laps, including the final 13. He crossed the stripe with a 2.463-second advantage over runner-up Ross Chastain.

● Prior to his time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Briscoe competed for one season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In 2017, Briscoe ran one Truck race at Dover. It went well as Briscoe won the pole with a lap of 23.007 seconds at 156.474 mph. He then led three laps in the race before finishing 12th.

● The high-banked, high-speed Dover oval harkens back to two other high-banked tracks Briscoe competed on as he climbed the racing ladder to the NASCAR Cup Series. Salem Speedway and Winchester Speedway, both in Indiana, provided Briscoe with a hint of what throttling around Dover’s 24 degrees of banking would be like. Salem is a .555-mile oval with 33 degrees of banking and Winchester is a half-mile oval with 37 degrees of banking. Briscoe made three ARCA Menards Series starts at Salem and one at Winchester. In his three starts at Salem between 2015 and 2016, Briscoe won two poles (April and September 2016), led a total of 155 laps, and scored two finishes of sixth or better, with his best result being fifth in his debut at the track in 2015. In his lone ARCA race at Winchester in 2016, Briscoe dominated by winning the pole, leading the most laps (142 of 200) and winning the race by 1.132 seconds.

● 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 multiyear 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. Houston-based Mahindra Ag North America is part of Mahindra Group’s Automotive and Farm Sector, the No. 1 selling farm tractor company in the world, 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 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. Mahindra dealers are independent, family-owned businesses located throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang Dark Horse

Your first start at Dover came back in 2017 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and you came out of the gate really strong by winning the pole. How did you do it?

“I’ve always enjoyed really fast racetracks where it’s just super-high commitment, kind of elbows up. There’s something about it that just felt normal. We were really good there in the Truck. I had a wheel come off in the race and we finished worse than we probably should have. We’ve been able to win there in other series. The Cup Series has been a struggle there, truthfully, but I’ve always enjoyed going to Dover. It’s one of those racetracks where, as a driver, if you just embrace it, it’s a lot of fun.”

Did the track remind you of Winchester or Salem from your sprint car days?

“Yeah. I’ve always enjoyed racing at high-commitment places where it’s high-banked and the more speed you can carry, the better. Until that point, Salem and Winchester were the only tracks I’ve run that were like that. Bristol in the Truck Series, I guess I hadn’t even run Bristol yet at that point in the Truck Series, so the only point of reference I had was Salem and Winchester and I just remember it feeling like a big Salem or Winchester. A lot of guys aren’t used to high-banked racetracks. I only had two starts on them, but sprint car-wise, I ran a lot of high-banked, high-speed racetracks and it didn’t really freak me out. I feel like a lot of guys probably go there for the first time and if you grow up pavement racing, there’s not a lot that compares with that, so it can be very eye-opening. It’s just one of those deals that, as a sprint car guy, it makes it a little bit easier to get used to the speed, and I feel like you’ve seen a lot of sprint car guys be really successful there because of that.”

Did you ever have a welcome-to-Dover moment?

“I remember the first time I was there, going out and being pretty mind-blown at how big the drop was, like down into the corner. I ran the simulator and watched video, but you never get a full appreciation for it until you do it. I remember coming in after that first 10-or-so-lap run huffing and puffing. I never took a breath the first 10 or so laps around that place. So, yeah, I would say that was my welcome-to-Dover moment. And honestly, every time you go there, it’s one of those same things where you forget how big the drop is and you forget to breathe on your first run. I feel like every time you go to Dover you have one of those welcome-to-Dover moments.”

How difficult is Dover in a Cup car, and how steep is the learning curve?

“I would say the biggest thing about the Cup car is that everybody is just so close. In the lower series, if you’re fast, you can move around the racetrack and pass guys. Dover is one of the harder places to pass guys, in general. But the Cup car, everybody is so close on speed that it makes it really, really challenging. Track position is so important, and that’s where I probably need to do a lot better job in the Cup Series. When I get track position, I need to be extremely aggressive as far as trying to hold it, but then also just trying to figure out better ways to pass there. Especially in my Cup career, I’ve kind of been one of the first guys to the top (of the track) and that typically wears your tires out way more. It’s a short-term gain but a long-term loss, so just trying to understand what I need to do as far as passing guys would probably help me most in my Cup career there at Dover.”

Dover is another track where your time in the Xfinity Series was fruitful – a win among four top-10s in five career starts. What allowed you to be consistently good at Dover in the Xfinity Series?

“I would say the biggest thing is the Xfinity car was the one car that was the most out of control at that racetrack. You were really sideways all the time. The Truck has a lot of downforce, the Cup car has a lot of downforce, but the Xfinity car just really fit my driving style around that place and just how you had to be elbows up and, at the same time, you had to be really patient at times and you could search around the racetrack. I just really enjoyed that track in that style of car from the first time we went there. I always had speed there and that made it fun.”

Describe a lap at Dover, specifically, the grit you need have to throw the car into the corner and trust it.

“You go down the straightaway and it’s more banked than half the racetracks we go to, and you look down into turn one and see the elevation change. You drive down in there and it kind of reminds me of a roller coaster to a certain extent because it does kind of get your stomach a little bit. The car gets really light and it’ll slam down into the ground super hard, and you can feel your whole body compressed into the seat. And then you’re out of the gas, kind of rolling, and you can’t even see the exit of the corner. You go back to wide open and hope you did it at the right time. Come back out of the hole and then do the same thing going down into turn three. It seems like for whatever reason, in turn three the drop-in feels a little more extreme. It’s a cool place. I always feel like if you can give anybody a ride-along in a two-seater to hook them on NASCAR and make them appreciate what we do, Dover is certainly the place.”

How physical is a race at Dover?

“From your neck standpoint and from your core standpoint, I feel like Dover is probably the hardest track on your body. And just even from a mental standpoint, you can’t take a single second off there. You’ve got to be on it at all times. I’d say it’s one of the top-five, top-10 hardest tracks, for sure. It’s always a challenge when you go there.”

Do you feel the seams in the concrete at Dover?

“I’ve never had any issues there as far as that goes. I always feel it’s rougher down the straightaways than it is in the corner, and maybe that’s because our car in the corners is so loaded up that you don’t really feel anything. But I don’t feel like it’s crazy rough, by any means.”

No. 14 Mahindra Tractors 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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