Chase Briscoe joins Brad Keselowski Racing as first member of Ford driver development program

ARCA Racing Series
0 Comments

Chase Briscoe, the defending ARCA Racing Series champion, has joined Brad Keselowski Racing as a full-time driver in the Camping World Truck Series this season.

He joins Austin Cindric as the team’s drivers for the 2017 season.

The team announced Thursday that Briscoe, 22, is the first member of Ford’s newly founded NASCAR driver development program. BKR will be the first step of the program, which will include more teams at other levels of racing.

Teams that are part of the program will have input on driver selection, but drivers will have contracts with Ford.

“Starting this program with BKR makes sense since it has made a significant investment in its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series operation and it is reflected in its success on the track,” said Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Performance, in a press release. “As we at Ford look to develop new winning drivers for, ultimately, our Cup Series teams, the BKR model is a proven step in that ladder. We are enthusiastic about the role BKR will play in our efforts and we look forward to working very closely with the team in driver selection, engineering, and other mission critical areas.”

A formal development program comes after Pericak said last July Ford needed to have “more involvement” in securing and developing drivers.

In the Cup Series, Ford fields five drivers who are in their 20s:  Ryan Blaney (23), Trevor Bayne (25), Joey Logano (26), Landon Cassill (29) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (28). Chris Buescher (24) was with Ford-backed Front Row Motorsports last season but will drive a Chevrolet for JTG Daughtery.

In the Xfinity Series, Ford is represented by Darrell Wallace Jr. (23) and Ryan Reed (23) at Roush Fenway Racing.

Tyler Reddick (21), who drove for BKR in 2016, is now with the Chevrolet-backed Chip Ganassi Racing in the Xfinity Series. Daniel Hemric (25) will drive a Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. Cole Custer (18), who drove a Chevy for JR Motorsports, is now partnered with Ford and Stewart-Haas Racing.

Briscoe, a native of Mitchell, Indiana, captured the ARCA championship with Cunningham Motorsports, winning six races in the process. His only experience in NASCAR is three starts in the K&N Pro Series West in 2013.

BKR fields the No. 19 and No. 29 trucks and has competed in the Truck series since 2008. Last year,Reddick, Hemric, Austin Theriault and Cindric made starts for the team.

“This is a big day in the history of BKR,” said Keselowski in a press release. “To be recognized as a true partner to Ford and Ford Performance and what they are trying to do speaks directly to the hard work our team has put in over the last several years. It is an honor, frankly, and it is really what BKR is all about – providing young, talented drivers with championship-caliber equipment to continue to hone their craft and showcase their talents.

“We have been fortunate to have had a lot of success together with Ford across the three major NASCAR touring series and to now elevate that relationship in an official capacity is a testament to what we set out to do.”

The Truck series season begins Feb. 24 at Daytona International Speedway.