Chase Briscoe idolized Tony Stewart when he was younger, has raced for Stewart’s organization and next season will drive for the No. 14 Cup team that Stewart once did.
Stewart-Haas Racing made it official Tuesday morning that Briscoe will take over the No. 14 car. HighPoint, a customer service and technology solutions company, will be an anchor sponsor on the car, the team revealed.
Stewart brought the No. 14 to SHR in 2009 — paying honor to his hero, A.J. Foyt — and ran it until exiting the ride after the 2016 season. Stewart tapped Clint Bowyer to drive that car starting in 2017. Bowyer leaves after this season to join the Fox Sports booth in 2021, giving Briscoe the chance to race in Cup for his hero.
“When I go back to Indiana in my hometown, my bedroom still has Tony Stewart stuff everywhere,” Briscoe said after his Xfinity Series win last weekend. “I was a diehard Tony Stewart fan. I used to literally dress up in a Home Depot uniform and helmet and play my sprint car video game every single day. And now I get to drive for the guy and got a win at Indianapolis for the guy and won eight other races. It is unbelievable.”
Briscoe’s ninth win of the season last weekend at Kansas puts him in the Nov. 7 Xfinity Series championship race at Phoenix.
Among his Xfinity wins this season was at the Indianapolis road course. For Briscoe, an Indiana native, to win at that same facility as Stewart was special.
“I still get nervous when he comes around,” Briscoe said then of Stewart. “When you look up to someone growing up they just make you nervous. Tony has been exactly what I pictured growing up. He is still my hero. He is a badass. He is racing sprint cars and winning races. He is a stud. It is so cool for him to look at me and appreciate what I am doing in his race cars.
“We are really similar. We both didn’t come from anything. We both grew up in Indiana about 45 minutes away from each other and both grew up racing sprint cars. We are pretty carbon copies. I like drinking Dr. Pepper and eating Oreos before races just like he did. It is cool to hear praises when you get them from your hero, that is for sure.”
Putting Briscoe in the No. 14 car is special for Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas.
“I raced with Chase’s dad in USAC sprint cars and in non-wing cars, so to see Chase come up through the ranks like I did brings back memories,” Stewart said in a statement. “When it comes to the 14 car, I obviously have a passion for having dirt drivers behind the wheel.
“Having had Clint Bowyer in the car and now Chase, it’s special, but also practical. With the lower horsepower package they have in the Cup Series, you have to run these cars a lot freer, and I think that suits a driver with a dirt background. Chase is a guy who would much rather have a loose racecar versus a very tight racecar that won’t turn. I always felt better in a Cup car than I did in an Xfinity Series car, and I think he’ll be in the same position.”
The 25-year-old Briscoe is completing his second full-time Xfinity season. He has 11 wins in 80 career starts heading into Saturday’s playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).
“Chase has worked incredibly hard to make his mark in NASCAR and has earned this promotion to the NASCAR Cup Series,” Stewart said in a statement. “Thanks to HighPoint and Ford, we were able to make it happen. Without Ford seeing him early on and recognizing his talent and HighPoint backing his efforts in Xfinity and now Cup, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to bring him into our system. Since we’ve gotten together with Ford and HighPoint, we’ve been able to do great things with Chase and I feel there are more great things ahead of us.”
Said Haas in a statement: “Wins are my benchmark, and Chase has done a lot of winning this year. His stats alone merit his place in Cup, but Chase has also proven to be a strong ambassador for our partners who appreciate his grit and determination.”
— Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) October 20, 2020