NASCAR driver Chase Briscoe shares emotional note; The former team owner will be featured on the Talladega car this weekend
Briggs Cunningham III has passed at age 89. He was the co-owner of Cunningham Motorsports who competed in the ARCA Menards Series until 2017.
The team won the 2017 ARCA Racing Series championship with Chase Briscoe behind the wheel. They collected 40 wins since the team began in 1997.
Cunningham was a co-owner of the team along with Kerry Scherer. NASCAR Cup Series stars Chase Briscoe and Alex Bowman both drove for the team as they climbed the ranks. Additionally, NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Austin Cindric, Myatt Snider, Ty Majeski and Parker Kligerman also piloted ARCA machines for the operation.
After of the 2017 season, the team was sold to crew chief Chad Bryant the assets were moved to Chad Bryant Racing.
This weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, a different name will ride above the door on the No. 14 machine. Chase Briscoe’s ride lists Briggs S. Cunningham III on the door and a small Cunningham Motorsports logo will be featured toward the tail.
Briscoe stated via twitter, “I’ve been very blessed to have never lost a family member I’m close to in 26 years and although Briggs wasn’t family he was like family and another grandfather to me, he was one of my best friends and someone I owe practically everything to. I miss you so much already Briggs.”
Chase Briscoe shares stories of Briggs Cunningham III
“I haven’t cried like this in a long time,” Briscoe opened in a social media post.
“It’s hard to put into words what this man meant to me, what he did for me and the friendship we had. He was like another grandfather to me.”
“If it wasn’t for Briggs Cunningham III, there is no way I would have been doing what I’m doing today or even had the opportunity to do half the things I’ve been able to do.”
“In 2015, I was volunteering at Cunningham Motorsports and somehow Briggs heard about it and though the story was cool and decided that this ‘kid’ from Indiana deserves a shot at a test.”
“Fast forward to the end of 2015 going into 2016 and I finally meet Briggs for the first time and ever since that day we had the best friendship. We may have nearly 70 years apart in age but the friendship we had was like we had been friends for 70 years.”
“Even after I moved on from Cunningham Motorsports, Briggs and I continued to talk almost daily for the next three years, whether it was about racing, sports, old stories and everything in between.”
“I valued every conversation we had and Briggs always made sure to make sure I knew how proud of me he was and I always made sure to thank him every day even though I knew he was tired of getting thanked every time we would talk.”
“I owe a lot to Briggs, he believed in me when nobody else did and I’ll never forget how amazing of a man he was. He did so many things behind the scenes for people and never wanted a single ounce of credit, he just wanted to make a difference and help people.”
“They don’t make them like Briggs anymore and I can’t wait until I see that smile, hear that laugh and tell stories with you again. I miss you already buddy and I can’t wait to see you again Briggs.”
Briscoe is in his debut NASCAR Cup Series season. He drives the No. 14 for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Parker Kligerman shares his story on Cunningham
“This week, the racing world and I lost a best friend,” Kligerman opened in a social media note.
“In 2008, I was driver USAC midgets on a shoe string budget, with no real prospects of how this whole racing thing was going to continue. On a whim, I decided to join my manager Bob Perona to go to the ARCA race at Kentucky, as he was coaching a driver on the Cunningham Motorsports team. Little did I know, this day would change my life forever.”
“The same day, the owner of the team, Briggs Cunningham III was attending his first race in years. We met & I handed him my card, he looked at it, saw Westport, CT & enthusiastically said, “I’m from Westport!’ “
“Thus began a bond & friendship that for alost a decade & half has been the constant in an ever changing career. From that day onward, Briggs sought to help me achieve the dream of making it to the highest levels of motorsport. All the while, asking for almost nothing in return other than ‘Do a good job.’ “
“That we did. From a record year in ARCA to reaching the highest level of NASCAR, we did exactly what we sought out to do. As I grew up, he was my daily sounding board & mentor. Daily calls, where we’d go over the biggest topics in racing to important moments of decision where he’s simply say, ‘Let me know how I can help.’ The most remarkable thing is, I am not alone in a story like this.”
“Briggs helped more people in the racing industry than we will ever know from crew to drivers & everyone in-between, because he never wanted the recognition. He simple took joy in giving others a chance at their dreams & especially when they succeeded. Where he would answer the phone & exclaim, ‘You did good!’ “
“Racing & our hometown were our common thread. As I chased different opportunities or elevated career changes. He was the one who would put it all in perspective & calm my anxieties, as I weighed the options.”
“With his most consistent advice, that would always point me in the correct direction, ‘Parker, I want you to do whatever you feel will be the most fun. This should be fun, that’s why we do it.’ “
“Briggs, I can promise you that this has guided me and will continue to guide me. I love you, I miss you and I cannot wait to one day hear ‘You did good.’ again.”