DEARBORN – Chase Briscoe’s racing career is on the move and as part of the Ford Performance Driver Development Program, it’s about to hit the fast lane.
After a 2017 season that saw him win one race, sit on four poles and earn the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year Award, Briscoe will embark on a 2018 season that includes a mix of oval events and road course races.
As announced last week, Briscoe will be competing in 12 NASCAR XFINITY Series events with Roush Fenway Racing in the No. 60 Mustang. Additionally, he’s scheduled to race at least once for Biagi-DenBeste Racing and additional opportunities are currently being sought.
Besides his stock car schedule, Briscoe will also expand his road course skills by running in select Mustang GT4 races in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series, as well as select Mustang events in the Trans-Am TA2 class.
“If you want a championship driver you have to train the young driver and that’s what our program is all about. It’s about developing him and developing his skills,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “Chase is taking a step up to the NASCAR XFINITY Series, but we’re also going to pair him up with the best in the business and he’s going to understand what it means to go out and road race.”
As part of his road racing development, Briscoe will work with veteran sports car drivers Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell, who teamed up to win the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series championship in the Ford Shelby GT350R-C.
“I’m excited for next year just because I’m going to be doing multiple things. I’m not committed to just one series, which is good because I probably haven’t run 50 pavement races in my entire life,” said Briscoe. “I feel like I’m at a point where I learn a ton every single race, so to get a chance to run some IMSA and Trans-Am races, in addition to my XFINITY schedule, is going to be a huge deal.”
Briscoe, who won the first race of his career in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, qualified for the NCWTS Playoffs before being eliminated in the Round of 8. He finished sixth in the final point standings after posting 10 top-5 and 14 top-10 finishes in 23 starts.
“Going back all the way to my ARCA days I was in a Ford, and I think it would be pretty special to run a Ford throughout my entire career,” said Briscoe. “I am thankful that they saw something in me, believed in me, and were willing to give me an opportunity. I’m appreciative of that and that’s why I want to stick with them. I’m appreciative of what they’ve done for me, and I want to pay them back somehow.”
In addition to competing in those two series, Briscoe will assist the company as a test driver within the Ford product development program.
“Our plan is to bring him along on our road car development projects and have him test drive the products, push them to the limit and that’s where he’s really going to learn about what makes a car work,” said Pericak. “All of these skills have to be learned, so we’re going to develop him, hone his skills, and then he will no doubt be a championship-level driver.”