Chase Briscoe won’t let spins at Bristol, Charlotte deter his quest for wins
MADISON, Ill. — Twice in six weeks, Chase Briscoe saw a chance at victory slip away when he spun attempting to pass for the lead.
While his last-lap attempt in the Bristol dirt race was more a desperate move, what happened in last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 lingers as Briscoe prepares to lead to the field to green in today’s inaugural Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on FS1).
Briscoe says he watched the fateful moment two laps from the scheduled end of last week’s race “literally 15 or 20 times … trying to figure out really what I did, because I didn’t feel like I did anything different than I had done the whole time.”
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Briscoe, who went on to finish fourth last weekend, said he examined data but was left with questions about why he spun while racing Kyle Larson for the lead.
“I was trying to go in there and run underneath him and try to be at his left rear by the exit (of Turn 2) but spun out as soon as I got to the middle” of the corner, Briscoe said. “I was trying to understand (what happened). That way if I’m in that situation again, what can I do different? That one definitely stung a lot more than races in the past.”
Briscoe admits a moment four laps from the scheduled end of that race also stands out. He was underneath Larson’s car and had cleared him but didn’t move up into Larson’s lane. Larson got back next to Briscoe.
“Looking back on it, when I slid in with four to go I was clear for literally a quarter of a second,” Briscoe said. “I didn’t take it. I wanted to try to leave him a lane.
“I wish now I would have taken it. I just felt like if I did that, I was probably going to put him in the fence at the time, so I didn’t take it. Then I spin out two laps later. Now I wish I would have taken it and dealt with it.”
Briscoe’s focus turns to today’s 240-lap race on the 1.25-mile speedway within sight of the The Gateway Arch in St. Louis. While he failed to win at Charlotte and Bristol, it won’t change his style if he’s racing for the lead again.
“You’ve got to try to win, especially now with how the format is,” said Briscoe, who scored his first career win at Phoenix in March. “Not that points don’t matter, but in the playoffs, you are guaranteed in if you have two wins. Wins, that’s just how the new format is. Wins mean a lot.
“For us, yea, if you get an opportunity to win a race, you’ve got to try to win the race. That’s what I’m paid to do. That’s what the whole goal of the race is. … Obviously I need to not wreck myself while going for it.
“Bristol and Charlotte look the same, but the intent and the move was totally different. At Charlotte, I just flat spun out and messed up. Bristol, I was trying to send it in there and hope that I could clear (Tyler Reddick) and obviously I didn’t.
“Hopefully we’re in contention (Sunday). I feel we real good in practice and see if we can be there.”