What are your earliest memories of racing at Indy, as a fan or driver?
“One of my first racing memories is going to get my first firesuit. It was across from the tunnel in turns one and two at Indy. The guy’s name was Jim Bob Luger and he would do embroidery on uniforms. I remember going there, getting my first uniform, driving up to the end to get our first Quarter Midget and racing in Indy, for my first-ever race. So, I just felt like every time you were going to Indy, it meant you’re going to get something racing-related. As a kid, I didn’t really go to Indy outside of that, so it was always about racing. The first time I ever saw the speedway, I remember just being blown away by how big it was.”
A lot of your childhood was spent sitting at the back of a dirt hauler watching your father (Kevin Briscoe) and grandfather (Richard Briscoe) work on Sprint Cars. How does it feel to be reliving that in your own way now with your son Brooks traveling with you to dirt races and Cup Series races?
“I don’t remember those moments from when I was that little, but I’ve obviously seen the pictures and it’s cool to look back on that and see me being around the track with guys that are legends in the dirt world. I remember probably around when I was four or five, maybe six years old, always going to the racetrack and playing. It was just normal to be there, so these are memories that Brooks won’t necessarily remember. But I’ll definitely remember this, similar to how my mom and dad do. Getting to see him in all of these different scenarios and experiences and how into racing that he is right now has been a lot of fun for me. He is very aware of what is happening at the racetrack and pays attention to every little thing, so these are times that I’m enjoying now and can’t wait to tell him about when he’s older.”
When you won at Indy in 2020, Richard (Boswell) wasn’t at the track due to a suspension. You two are working together again and HighPoint.com is once again on the car. All these pieces are realigning, so what would it mean to win at Indy with him now in the crew chief role on the No. 14 HighPoint.com Mustang?
“When Boswell came over to the No. 14, I felt like there was a new confidence there just from the success that we’ve had in the past. He knows how significant Indy weekend is for me and the pressure I put on myself. When you add the scenario we’re in now from a points standpoint, there’s pressure every weekend. But I do think this team understands what this weekend means to me, and I feel like even they try to find that extra one- or two-percent effort to put into the car that weekend. There’s definitely confidence going there, and we’ve been good at Indy, we just haven’t been able to put it together. I’d love to do that with this team, with Richard and with HighPoint. I don’t think I’d have a career without HighPoint.com, and everyone knows how they came in at the last second to make sure I was in the No. 98 in 2020. Mike and the entire Mendiburu family mean a lot to me, and it would be awesome to get them in victory lane. We’ve won a lot of races with HighPoint.com on the car, but they’ve never been at track for them, including at Indy in 2020, so I’d like to be able to do that for all of us.”
Before we get to Indy, you’re heading to Eldora for the SRX race. Why was this week’s race the one you wanted to participate in?
“Eldora, in general, is special to me. Growing up as a kid in dirt racing, Eldora was kind of my version of Daytona. If you got to race at Eldora, that meant that you’re a hard-core dirt guy, especially if you could win there. So, for me just getting to run Eldora is special, but the biggest draw for me to run SRX was just the fact that I’ve never been able to race against Tony (Stewart). I felt like this would be my only opportunity to ever do that in my career and that’s why I pushed so hard to keep wearing them out about doing it. I knew that opportunity was getting smaller and smaller and I just wanted to be able to say I’d done it at some point in my career.”
If it comes down to you and Tony at the end, what can we expect?
“I’ll try not to do what I did at Bristol Dirt the first year. I would rather not get punched by Tony. But obviously, I feel like I need to go beat him just from a job security standpoint. If there’s going to be anybody I race with more respect than anybody else, it’s going to be him. It’ll be fun just to get out there and finally share the racetrack with him. It’s crazy to think how many times when I was growing up that I pictured driving his car and that I was him. Now, to finally share the racetrack with him is going to be really special for me. Hopefully I can go and beat him. But regardless, it’s going to be a really cool moment for me. I’m sure it doesn’t mean absolutely anything to him, but for me it will mean a lot.”