Tony Stewart talks the dirt racing advantage amid NASCAR rule changes

NASCAR team owner Tony Stewart has selected another dirt racer to join his program for 2021

In 2021, Chase Briscoe will take over the No. 14, previously driven by Clint Bowyer.

Briscoe began his racing career on dirt tracks in the Indiana area. Ironically, it’s a similar story to Stewart himself.

In 2017, Briscoe joined NASCAR with backing from Ford Performance. However, at the end of the season Brad Keselowski Racing shut down their truck series team and it left Briscoe without a ride.

In 2018, Briscoe made just a single Truck Series start will running part-time with the Xfinity Series with Roush. He drove it to victory lane on the dirt track at Eldora Speedway, owned by Stewart.

In 2019, Briscoe was signed to run full-time with Stewart-Haas Racing as Custer was promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series. He picked up one win in 2019 at Iowa Speedway.

In 2020, Briscoe has found his footing and set into domination. He’s collected 9 wins in 31 races. He’s also led nearly 1,000 laps.

For 2021, Briscoe is being promoted. He’ll be moving to the NASCAR Cup Series. It’s not surprise that Stewart has selected a dirt driver…

Related: Chase Briscoe calls for more NASCAR dirt races (2017)

Chase Briscoe in victory lane at Pocono Raceway - NASCAR Xfinity Series
LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA – JUNE 28: Chase Briscoe, driver of the #98 Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons at Pocono Raceway on June 28, 2020 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart on the dirt racer advantage

“The biggest thing that’s going to be a benefit down the road for him is… You know, obviously, drivers that drive on dirt are used to the back of the car being free and swinging around, wheel spin and everything else,” Tony Stewart said.

“As NASCAR keeps taking horsepower away from these cars, having the cars freed up is a very big piece of the equation now to make sure that you’re keeping speed in it.”

On most NASCAR tracks over 1.5-miles, the horsepower is trimmed from 750hp to 550hp. At the same time, the downforce is increased.

“Drivers that can handle a loose race car and are comfortable with that feel are ultimately going to have an advantage at the end of the day.”

“That dirt track background and having that confidence in knowing how to control a car that to some people, looks out of control. But, it’s sliding and you have control of where it’s going still.”

“To have that confidence, I think that’s going to be key in a Cup car down the road. That’s the skillsets that you have to learn.”

“20-30 years ago, you had to have a stock car background to really be good in a stock car. Nowadays, with rules packages changing like that are, people are starting to realize there’s a lot of value in drivers that have a dirt track background and can control a loose race car.”

Stewart added, “The car control, in general, that you learn running dirt tracks is a valuable learning experience. No matter what type of car you’re going to get in. Having that base is valuable for any driver.”

Related: Chase Briscoe to Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 in 2021

Related: Tony Stewart says drivers with personality; Dirt tracks would help NASCAR


Tony Stewart | Chase Briscoe | Clint Bowyer | Stewart-Haas Racing | NASCAR