Rising star and current NASCAR Xfinity Series points leader Chase Briscoe will drive the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford in 2021.
Prior to the season, Briscoe stated that if he could score eight victories in 2020 then he would be ready to graduate to Cup. The 25-year-old Mitchell, Ind. native and third-generation dirt racer has done just that behind the wheel of the No. 98 with nine wins, 16 top fives and 20 top 10s in 30 races. Briscoe has flourished as a Ford Performance development driver and made the most of every opportunity afforded him as he has risen through the stock car ranks.
Now, Briscoe gets to continue his NASCAR journey driving for his childhood hero—and fellow Hoosier—Tony Stewart.
“It’s so crazy and unbelievable how everything has worked out," Briscoe said. "I grew up a diehard Tony Stewart fan and he’s always been my hero. My family has always been a Ford family, and I’ll never forget when I first got signed by Ford. I would always tell people that my dream was to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing and the icing on the cake would be if it was in the 14 car. I can’t believe that’s really happening.”
Briscoe took the next step to do just that after he locked into the Championship 4 Round by winning at Kansas Speedway on Saturday.
“Even though Chase had limited experience running on pavement, we knew he had the natural talent to make the transition,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “Our philosophy was to get him in as many different types of cars and trucks as we could while also exposing him to our technical tools like the simulator to get him as much experience as possible and it’s paid off.”
Briscoe replaces Clint Bowyer, who will retire from full-time competition at year's end. Briscoe is in the fourth year of a five-year contract he signed with Ford after winning the 2016 ARCA championship. Following a full season with Brad Keselowski Racing in trucks, he shared driving duties with fellow Ford up-and-comer Austin Cindric and Ty Majeski in the No. 60 Roush Fenway Ford on the Xfinity Series tour. Despite the partial schedule, Briscoe made the most of his audition. Ford filled in his duties with extra races in the No. 98 Mustang and with the IMSA Series. The road course experience paid off with Briscoe delivering a win in the inaugural Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval race two years ago in his 14th-career start.
“Whenever I came to Ford that was a five-year deal, so we’re coming up on year five now,” Briscoe said in early August. “We want to keep winning races and I want to stay with Ford. They’ve been loyal to me. Without them, I wouldn’t be doing any of this stuff.”
While Briscoe kept up with the Big Three—Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and his SHR teammate Cole Custer in 2019—he owned the 2020 NXS season early on. Lately, his buddy Cindric has challenge Briscoe but the No. 98 SHR Ford remains the class of the Xfinity field. His next victory will tie Sam Ard’s record for 10 wins in a season by a full-time Xfinity competitor.
“We love Chase and appreciate him,” said Stewart-Haas Racing’s competition director Greg Zipadelli. “He’s a good kid and a great talent, and just a ton of fun to be around as far as his capability and how calm and cool he is, and the things he can do with a race car.”