Tony Stewart: “I obviously have a passion for having dirt drivers behind the wheel.”
Clint Bowyer recently announced he would be retiring at the end of the 2020 season. That’s left the famed No. 14 seat open for 2021.
A few months ago, Larson was the leading candidate for the ride. Stewart spoke openly, asking NASCAR to lift their suspension of Larson.
In recent weeks, those rumors have stalled. Stewart has also been quiet on Larson.
On Monday, NASCAR decided to lift their suspension of Larson beginning January 1st. A day later, the announcement was made that Chase Briscoe will be promoted from the NASCAR Xfinity Series to the NASCAR Cup Series.
Chase Briscoe takes over the No. 14 ride in 2021.
Chase Briscoe on Tony Stewart
Briscoe has dominated in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season. The driver has collected 9 wins, in 30 races.
“I still get nervous when he comes around,” Briscoe of Stewart after Kansas. “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.”
“Growing up in Indiana and racing sprint cars, the guy I always looked up to was Tony Stewart. To be able to drive for him is a dream come true,” Briscoe said.
Briscoe added, “Tony and Gene have built something really special in Stewart-Haas Racing. Being a part of it in the Xfinity Series and now, the NASCAR Cup Series, has always been my goal. HighPoint and Ford created this opportunity, and my parents, my wife, and Briggs and Beth Cunningham, helped position me for this opportunity. Their support means everything, and it’s all the fuel I need to compete at the Cup level.”
Tony Stewart on Chase Briscoe
“Chase has worked incredibly hard to make his mark in NASCAR and has earned this promotion to the NASCAR Cup Series. Thanks to HighPoint and Ford, we were able to make it happen,” said Tony Stewart.
“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.”
“In the final three races last season, we saw a confidence in Chase that we hadn’t seen before,” Stewart added. “There was a transformation, and I think those three races last year were a preview of what we were going to see this year. He’s delivered time and time again this season and he’s definitely ready for the NASCAR Cup Series.”
“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.”
“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.”
Gene Haas on Briscoe
“Wins are my benchmark, and Chase has done a lot of winning this year,” Haas said. “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.”