By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Ford Performance development driver Chase Briscoe will have a full-time home in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019. He joins Cole Custer as Stewart-Haas Racing expands its’ Xfinity Series program to two full-time cars.
Briscoe competed in five races for the team last season. The second-year driver will drive the No. 98 Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste Racing. Nutri Chomps will be the primary sponsor of the first 13 races with further sponsorship to be announced later.
“I got a taste of what Stewart-Haas Racing is capable of in the five races I ran with the team this year,” Briscoe said. “Winning at Charlotte was one of the greatest moments of my career, and I have to thank Nutri Chomps, Ford, Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and Fred Biagi for believing in me and providing this opportunity to race full-time.
“I’ve been working so hard for this moment and 2019 can’t come soon enough. If I could fast forward to February and climb inside the No. 98 Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang there at Daytona, I would.”
This will be the first time since 2006 that the team will run a full season. Briscoe will be the first driver to run a full season with Biagi-DenBeste since Mike Wallace in 2004. The Mitchell, IN native’s victory at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course was just the fifth for Biagi-Denbeste Racing.
Briscoe has spent the bulk of the 2018 Xfinity Series season splitting time in the No. 98 at SHR and in Ford Performance’s Program 60 at Roush Fenway Racing. In 16 starts, he scored one victory, as well as four top-10 finishes.
Briscoe also has two victories in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, including besting his ThorSport Racing teammate in a photo finish at Eldora Speedway earlier this season. The 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year has 11 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes, along with four pole positions. Briscoe was also voted the Series’ Most Popular Driver.
“Chase Briscoe is the kind of person we’re looking to develop with our Xfinity Series program,” said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR. “Young, hungry and talented is the best way to describe Chase, and there’s no better place for him to learn and, ultimately, succeed than here at Stewart-Haas Racing. I know he’s looking forward to this opportunity, and we are too.”
Outside of NASCAR competition, Briscoe regularly competes in 410 Sprint Cars. At the age of 13, he broke Jeff Gordon’s record for being the youngest winner in a 410 Sprint Car race.
“I’ve been paying attention to Chase since he raced sprint cars and I saw how well he transitioned to stock cars,” team co-owner Tony Stewart said. “It was obviously great to see him in our Ford Mustangs a few times this year, and Chase didn’t disappoint. His win at Charlotte showed us a lot. He was patiently aggressive and he did a really good job of managing his tires.
“He’s learned a lot in a very short period of time and we’re really looking forward to seeing what he can do when he’s in the same car, working with the same crew, week in and week out. It was our desire to have him in our racecars, but thanks to Nutri Chomps and Ford, they made it happen.”