Friday, Sep 22

Briscoe Wins Pole As Ford Sweeps Top 3 Qualifying Spots at Daytona

Ford Qualifying Results:

1st – Chase Briscoe

2nd – Aric Almirola

3rd – Harrison Burton

6th – Riley Herbst

8th – Ryan Blaney

9th – Ryan Preece

10th – Kevin Harvick

11th – Chris Buescher

12th – Brad Keselowski

14th – Joey Logano

16th – Austin Cindric

33rd – JJ Yeley

34th – Brennan Pooole

35th – Todd Gilliland

39th – Michael McDowell


CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Magical Vacation Planner Ford Mustang – POLE-WINNING INTERVIEW – YOU GOT WHAT YOU NEEDED. “Not by much. I was worried. When I left pit road I did an absolutely terrible job. I spun the tires and I shifted way too early to second and then I had a double lift on the gas at third and fourth and I was like, ‘Man, I completely threw this away,’ so I knew it was gonna be extremely close getting back to the line and just barely was able to be there. It’s cool for Stewart-Haas Racing. It’s no secret that it’s been a struggle for us this year and to bring two really fast Fords to Daytona and lock out the front row is a testament to everything the men and women back there are doing and this Roush Yates power under the hood.”


9 OF THE TOP 12 ARE FORD MUSTANGS. HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT AS YOU GUYS LOOK AT THE RACE? “It’s huge, especially at these races more than anywhere else the manufacturers play a huge role, so having as many of those teammates you can have up there even if they’re not in the same organization, they still have the Blue Oval on the hood, so that’s huge everytime we come here, Talladega and Atlanta. It’s huge to have strength in numbers, so we’ve got a lot of them – nine in the top 12, so that will be good to hopefully control the race, control the narrative and hopefully our Ford can find victory lane and keep all the Fords up front.”


ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang – “It’s a great starting spot for tomorrow. Getting the pole today would be awesome, but it’s not the end goal. The end goal is to end up in victory lane tomorrow, so I feel good about our car. We’ve had so much speed here with this Next Gen car and I feel good about it. Tomorrow is the day. I’ll lick my wounds tonight and tomorrow we’ll be ready.”


HARRISON BURTON, No. 21 DEX Imaging Ford Mustang – “It’s good to qualify well, obviously. It’s a big advantage to get your pit stall, get your track position early and you are put in a situation where you can learn a lot about your car up front. Normally, it’s ‘OK, I want to race my way towards the front and be kind of aggressive and learn about my car and make adjustments.’ Now we’re there, so it’s game on from the drop of the green flag and we’ll learn a lot really quickly and if we’re not good enough, we’ll have plenty of time to make the car better, so that’s a big advantage with qualifying well. I was just saying earlier that it’s so hard. You don’t see the runs from 30th to first. You don’t see those big changes in position anymore. You see guys that are very methodical and work a lane and cycle forward in the lane when someone chooses another lane, and those guys tend to hold track position better, so having it and then not having it are two very different things. My whole mentality for the first stage has completely changed now. Now, I have track position and we have to maintain it all day.”


RYAN PREECE, No. 41 Ford Mustang – “From a company standpoint I think all of us have the speed, so it’s nice to be right there with your company guys in qualifying. I know our car specifically races really well, it’s just always a kick in the knee when you don’t qualify with your teammates, so today was good for that.”




CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Magical Vacation Planner Ford Mustang – “It’s exciting. To be on the pole at Daytona is special no matter what car you’re driving. It’s cool for me to just be able to say that I’m leading the field to green in a Cup race at Daytona. That’s a pretty cool thing to be able to say, but it’s honestly just a testament to everybody at Stewart-Haas, all the men and women. It’s been no secret that it’s been a rough season for us and to have all four cars in the top 10 and to lock out the front row is super important for us and a good turning point, so hopefully one of those can win tomorrow. Hopefully, it’s me obviously, but really just a good day for the company to be able to bring that kind of speed. Truthfully, at least for the 14 team, every superspeedway race we’ve been really really good the first round and just not good the second round. Even today, we didn’t really pick up in the second round, but we were fast enough in the first round to have that buffer, so I’m just proud of my guys. It was cool for us to be able to get the pole here in Magical Vacation Planner’s literally their backyard. They’re based in Orlando and they’ve got 400 planners on the car too, so hopefully they’ll all be smiling at the end of tomorrow night. We’ve got a long way to go, but we’ve got a great starting spot, so hopefully we can keep it up there.”


WHAT’S IT LIKE TO MAKE MEMORIES LIKE THIS AND THE OTHER DAY AT DISNEY WITH YOUR FAMILY? IT HAS TO BE SPECIAL. “Yeah. He’s back there waving at me right now. It’s cool. For me, I’ve never been able to experience any kind of success with them at the racetrack. During the Xfinity stuff it was during COVID. Obviously, he wasn’t around yet, but me and Marissa were able to experience that, and then my first Cup win neither of them were there, so I haven’t won anything since then so it’s cool for them to both be able to be here and even after qualifying just walk down pit lane with both of them has been cool to make those memories. We obviously made memories yesterday going to Disney and things like that, but it just really cool to do it at Daytona of all places and to have them here and hopefully that’s the first thing we can celebrate this weekend. Regardless, it’s super special, it’s humbling to be able to do that with them here and just blessed to be able to have my family be able to go to work with me and then let them experience those things with me.”


HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE FEELINGS OF THIS OPPORTUNITY OF BEING ON THE POLE WITH THE PRESSURE OF WHAT THE STAKES OF TOMORROW BRINGS? “I don’t know. I think you just have to go out there, like for us, we literally have absolutely nothing to lose with our point situation and things like that. That part of it is I guess a little freeing and relieving just knowing that I can go out there and race tomorrow and literally the only thing that matters is winning, where every week all that matters is really winning, but you still have other motives like you’re racing somebody in points. Last year, I was in the playoffs so stage points were super important to try and get playoff points, where tomorrow it literally doesn’t matter, except for lap 160 or whatever the last lap is. If I’m winning and I win the race, then I’m in the playoffs. If not, then our season is over in a sense. I don’t know. I don’t think that the pressure or anything like that really changes because it’s the last race. Truthfully, we’ve had 25 opportunities to win and we haven’t done it yet, so it doesn’t change it just because it’s the last one, but being on the pole you have a great opportunity from the standpoint of starting position and things like that, but you’ve just got to go execute and that’s something that at the end of the day if you don’t execute, you’re not gonna have a shot to win this race tomorrow so that’s what we’ve got to focus on now.”



THE POLE WINNER HAS ONLY WON 4 TIMES SINCE 2000. “Oh man, you’re really stealing it for me.”


ARE YOU HAPPY TO BE ON THE POLE? “I don’t know. It’s hard to say. I’ve never started on the pole at Daytona or ever really any superspeedway races that I can think of. I mean, you can start on the pole and you can be in 30th by lap 20. There’s just a lot of variables, but I will say that I feel like with this Next Gen car track position is way more important and crucial than it’s ever been before. Truthfully, like going into this race, I was kind of in the mindset of I was just gonna ride around and try to wait until the end and try to be there, and then at our competition meeting I was asking the other guys what their mindset was going into it and Aric was like, ‘Oh, I’m racing trying to lead every lap because you can’t pass.’ If you get back there, it’s hard to do it in 20-30 laps or whatever it is, so that kind of changed my mindset and then qualifying on the pole now I’m definitely going to be super aggressive all day and try to keep my track position up front and make them beat me. Starting on the front row it definitely makes it a little bit easier from the sense you’re not coming from behind from the get-go. Having Aric up there and all four Stewart-Haas cars in the top 10 and I think we had 9 of the top 12 Fords. That’s huge, especially being the pole-sitter. Hopefully, I can use all of that to my advantage and hopefully be there at the end and that’s when it pays the most at the end, not lap 1 or lap 100, it’s the last lap so we’ve got to be there at the end.”


DID THE PHOTO OF FOUR GENERATIONS OF BRISCOE’S SET IN TO YOU? “Yeah. First off, just how fortunate I am and blessed I am to be able to have my grandpa still, my dad still. Four generations of Briscoe’s and for me when we found out we were pregnant for the third time and the pregnancy kept getting farther and farther along, knowing it was a boy was like super important for me just because I was the only one that was gonna be able to keep the Briscoe name alive. To be able to have that picture a couple of weeks ago when we went to Indy was super special for me. With my family living in Indiana, especially my grandpa, he’s to the point now that it’s extremely hard for him to go to the racetrack, so for him to be able to just get to see Brooks was super special for me and to get to see him interact with him was really really cool. Hopefully, he can see us win tomorrow. It would be pretty cool and I know how proud he would be to see me win at Daytona. I mean, everybody in here for the most part knows my story and the fact that I’m racing at Daytona, let alone leading a Cup race to the green at Daytona is special, so if I could win tomorrow I know my grandpa would be pretty happy.”


WHY NOT YOU WINNING TOMORROW NIGHT? “I feel like I’ve not done the greatest job the last few superspeedway races, but this race last year with the rain coming I felt like I was in a really good spot and made an aggressive move, took the lead and then got spun out a corner later and almost flipped over. At least we were in the lead, but I feel like I’ve not done a very good job ever since I got to Cup of just being aggressive the whole race. In the Xfinity car, I always felt I was on the aggressive side. I was always the one trying to make moves, take my run somewhere, and in the Cup deal I just haven’t done that. I just, for whatever reason, been that aggressive and I felt like that race last year was really the only superspeedway race I’ve been super aggressive. That and the Daytona 500 and those are the two times I was up front, so I just have to be super aggressive again and that will start tomorrow starting on the pole.”


HAVE YOU HAD ANY CONVERSATIONS WITH ARIC AND RYAN ABOUT HOW YOU WOULD RACE EACH OTHER AT THE END IF YOU ARE BATTLING FOR THE WIN? “It is a unique situation we’re in as a company. You look at Penske, for example, they’ve got all but one car in, so they can put all their focus trying to get Austin in the playoffs, where, for us, we only have one car in and three out, so I think, truthfully, we haven’t talked about it, to be honest with you, but I do think all of us know with how our season has been that if it comes down to two of us, we need to make sure at least one of us wins. Now, we’re both gonna be selfish – me and whoever, or whoever the two guys are – but we need to think big picture – the amount of people that are back at Stewart-Haas that are relying on us to make the playoffs, so if you’re gonna make a move or do something, you need to be 110 percent certain that at least a Stewart-Haas car wins because you don’t want to make a move and then us both get beat and take a call from Gene or Tony about, ‘Well, what were you thinking?’ I think that you have to have that in mind. Like I said, we haven’t talked about it, but I do think all of us are at least conscious of that going into it and just knowing that if you’re gonna make a move at the end, you better make sure at least one of the Stewart-Haas cars wins.”


IF YOU WIN TOMORROW, WOULD IT BE AN UPSET? “I feel like it would be an upset. I’d have to be the lowest point guy to ever make the playoffs. I think we’re like 31st in points right now, so it would definitely shake up the playoff field. I feel like we would be a 16 seed going into it and everybody loves an underdog, so I love to always feel like my back is up against the wall, even going back to last year’s playoffs. I think everybody, probably nine out of 10 people had us getting knocked out the first round and we were five laps away from making it to Phoenix, so I would love to obviously win tomorrow and get in the playoffs. We’d be at a huge deficit, but, like I said, we would be a 16 seed and it’s happened before that the 16 seed has beat the 1 seed, so hopefully we can get in tomorrow and cause a little ruckus.”


WILL YOU SLEEP RELATIVELY WELL TONIGHT? “I feel like I’ll sleep just like any other night, depending on how Brooks is. He’s normally pretty good at sleeping, but I feel like I don’t think it’s gonna be any different. I do feel like just in general that whenever we go to Talladega, Daytona, Atlanta it’s a little bit harder for me to just fall asleep knowing what’s on the line the next day as far as the risks you’re gonna have to take, but from a point situation or things like that, I mean, I don’t think I’m gonna lose sleep over it. It is what it is at the end of the day. All I can do is give 100 percent of my effort and at the end of the day if it’s enough, it’s enough and when I lay my head down at night I’ve just got to know that when I look myself in the mirror I gave 100 percent, so hopefully I can do that tomorrow and whatever it is it is.”


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