By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
Chase Briscoe wished he had more competition in the 2021 Rookie of the Year battle but the start of his sophomore season kicked off majorly as he earned his best career finish.
Briscoe’s Daytona 500 started off sourly when he spun early during the first caution of the day. He battled his way through multiple big ones and was in contention at the end. He sat fifth during the final restart and was pushing Brad Keselowski. His initial push ran Keselowski all the way up to third and nearly second but he fell back a bit. Coming into turn four and to the checkered flag, Briscoe got a push from Kyle Busch. Both Briscoe and Busch hit the wall and it hindered both of their runs. As Ryan Blaney lost the momentum, he moved into third.
“I just couldn’t quite get to Brad,” said Briscoe. “I needed to be able to get to Brad, and he was having to drag so much brake for me to be able to help him. I wish I was more help. If I could have locked on, I could have got him up there.”
Third place in the Daytona 500, what a surreal feeling. Wish we were two spots better but still pretty unreal to be in contention at the end. Great start to the year for the 14 group. Congrats to one of my best buds @AustinCindric for such a big win. pic.twitter.com/ib8JZKi8DZ
— Chase Briscoe (@ChaseBriscoe_14) February 21, 2022
In just his 37th NASCAR Cup Series start, second attempt at the Daytona 500, Briscoe earned his first top-five finish. The 2016 ARCA Menards Series champion has had a long road to today. 23 starts in ARCA, 28 Truck Series starts, 85 Xfinity Starts, and 36 NASCAR Cup Series starts to make it to today. It’s been a long ride for Briscoe and Sunday’s finish was a big deal.
“You know my story,” added Briscoe. “Sleeping on couches and volunteering six, seven years ago, and now to have a chance to win the Daytona 500 at the end and finish third and start the year off with these Mahindra Tractors folks and HighPoint.com, all the people that get us to the racetrack. We want to be a playoff contender this year, and having a good run here is a good start. Wish we could have had one more lap. You never know what could have happened, but yeah, super cool to finish third and really cool for one of my best friends to win the race.”
Briscoe enters Auto Club Speedway fifth in NASCAR Cup Series points, 13-points behind points leaders Austin Cindric and Keselowski. Briscoe has never raced at Auto Club Speedway in the Cup Series but has two starts in the Xfinity Series with the best finish of fifth in 2019.