The Chase Is On

March 14, 2022 | Blog

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I’m happy as I can be for Chase Briscoe.

The driver of the No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford scored his first career NASCAR Cup Series win on Sunday in the Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway. The sophomore driver also scored the first win for Stewart-Haas Racing since Aric Almirola scored the win at New Hampshire last July.

I would say this win for Briscoe was a long time coming, but he’s only 40 starts into his Cup Series career. But in reality, Briscoe has been around a long time. He scored six wins in ARCA in 2016 before moving on to to the Camping World Truck Series in 2017, and then eventually a spot as one of the top drivers in the Xfinity Series (where he scored nine wins in 2020.)

Phoenix Race Results | Season Standings

I think there were a lot of expectations set for Briscoe’s rookie season in the Cup Series a year ago that might have been a little too ambitious. Making the move from Xfinity to the Cup Series is difficult but doing so in the middle of a pandemic where there was essentially no practice throughout the year made the jump a skosh difficult.

I’m not going to proclaim Chase Briscoe as the second coming on Tony Stewart, but I think there are a lot more checkered flags in his future. I like Chase. I wasn’t wild about him beating JR Motorsports when I was part of that team, but I recognized his talent and ability and the fact that he was poised to be a superstar one day.

He impressed me when he went toe to toe with Kyle Busch on the last lap at Darlington in his win in the Xfinity Series return to racing after the Covid 19 shutdown in 2020 and he impressed me again on Sunday at Phoenix.

Chase Briscoe is one of the good guys. One of the genuine and authentic guys. One of the go out and work your butt off for something guys.

It’s good to see the good guys win.

Speaking of the Good Guys…

Trackhouse Racing is (not quietly) having a great start to the season. Teammates Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez have combined for three top-fives and four top-10 finishes through the first four races of the season. Sure it’s not all been rainbows and butterflies for the team, but they’ve impressed me.

Chastain finished last at Daytona after a crash and following 29th at California, he’s finished 3rd and 2nd in the last two races, while Suarez went from 18th at Daytona to 4th at California, 37th at Vegas after a crash and then 9th Sunday at Phoenix.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this team this year. After Trackhouse bought the assets of Chip Ganassi Racing last year, I don’t think anyone knew what to expect. But it seems like Trackhouse is quickly making a name for itself in the Cup Series. The big question for this bunch I think is can it keep up with the super teams like Hendrick Motorsports, Team Penske, Stewart-Haas, and Joe Gibbs Racing.

Only time will tell.

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch…

I’m not gonna spend a lot of time talking about it, but I continue to be unimpressed with the Toyota camp this year. Sure Kyle Busch has been a bright spot with three top-10s in four races. But honestly, other than Vegas, has Toyota really been much of a factor this year? Four races in and the six Toyota drivers have combined for just two top-five finishes.

Enjoy this now because I’m 1000% confident once the JGR and 23XI teams get back from the West Coast Swing that things will turn around and we’ll be complaining about how good Toyota is and the Chevy and Ford teams are struggling.

Maybe. I guess. Honestly after four points paying races with this new car, I don’t think anyone knows what’s gonna happen the rest of the year but it’s gonna be fun to watch.

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