Chase Briscoe says his cameo in this weekend’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge round at Road America will help him “get up to speed” ahead of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Wisconsin circuit the following week.
Briscoe, who was part of Ford Performance’s NASCAR road racing driver development program in 2018 and 2019, will return to Pilot Challenge competition for his first start since January’s season-opener at Daytona in a “pretty last minute” deal with customer squad PF Racing.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver, who currently sits second in the Xfinity Series points standings, will share driving duties of the pink-colored Ford Mustang GT4 with James Pesek.
“Pat Demarco over at Ford Performance (NASCAR supervisor) called and asked if I had any interest in running the Mustang,” Briscoe explained.
“He felt it would be a good opportunity for me to get some laps at Road America, especially with us not getting any practice on the NASCAR side.
“I felt like it would be a great opportunity. We weren’t sure if it was going to be with Multimatic or PF racing and obviously the opening was at PF, so looking forward to going there.”
While it will mark the 25-year-old’s first outing at Road America in Pilot Challenge, Briscoe made six starts in the series in 2018 and has since been behind the wheel of Multimatic-run Mustang GT4s three additional times, which he feels has attributed to his success in NASCAR road course races.
Briscoe won the inaugural Xfinity Series Charlotte Roval race last year while also recently took top honors in the series’ first-ever race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
“I always enjoyed road racing,” he said. “I hadn’t even done it until 2016 and I wasn’t very fast at all.
“I was always three to three and a half seconds off the fastest guy. I felt like I was going fast but I wasn’t fast at all.
“Then in 2018, Ford had me run [some] IMSA races and then I was able to actually win on a [NASCAR] road course that year and then follow that up this year winning at Indy on the road course.
“My road course skills have gotten way better. I still have quite a bit to do to get better but I’m definitely way more in the ballpark now than I ever was with before I started this IMSA stuff.
“Hopefully that same experience at Road America this weekend will help for the following weekend.
“Obviously with no practice [in the Xfinity Series], just getting to seat time and seeing the race track again won’t hurt by any means.”
Briscoe said it’s unclear if he will make any additional Pilot Challenge outings this year, largely due to his Xfinity Series schedule, which has fluctuated amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This weekend he is filling in for PF’s newly named driver Chad McCumbee, who has previous commitments on the Pilot Challenge events at Road America, Virginia International Raceway and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.