Stewart-Haas Racing announced Thursday that the organization has signed Chase Briscoe to a multiyear contract extension that keeps the 28-year-old driver in the No. 14 Ford for the 2023 season and beyond.
The agreement comes ahead of Briscoe’s third season in the NASCAR Cup Series. The Indiana native – w ho took Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2021 – followed that performance by scoring his first Cup Series victory last year, prevailing last March at Phoenix Raceway.
“Chase has made the most of every opportunity and the proof is in the results,” team co-owner Tony Stewart said in a news release. “Keeping him at SHR was a priority and we’re proud to have him in our race cars for many more years to come.”
Briscoe’s first win qualified him for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs last year, and he wound up ninth in the final driver standings. The victory also gave him the distinction of being the Cup Series’ 200th winner.
Briscoe said that Stewart-Haas took the lead on initiating contract negotiations, but that the desire to renew their agreement was mutual. “I felt like we were both kind of pushing to get something done,” Briscoe said in an afternoon teleconference.
His return firms up an SHR lineup that’s in a state of transition. Veteran Kevin Harvick announced his retirement as driver of the No. 4 Ford at season’s end, and Ryan Preece is a new addition to the team’s Cup Series roster in the No. 41 Mustang. Aric Almirola reversed course last August on his retirement plans, and his future in the No. 10 Ford beyond this season is unclear.
Briscoe said Harvick’s departure after the 2023 campaign may prompt him to take more of a leadership role among SHR’s active drivers.
“This past year, I definitely talked a lot more and I would bring up ideas and kind of say things that I wanted to get off my chest where in the past I wouldn’t have done that,” Briscoe said. “So I feel like as I’ve gotten more confident in myself in my position. I’ve gotten to the point where I speak my mind a little bit more, and I guess be a little bit more of a leader. But where we’re at as a company, for me still, Kevin Harvick’s the guy, right? He’s who steers our ship. He’s the guy that when he talks, people listen. And for me, I’ve just tried to watch as much as I can.”
Briscoe scored 11 victories in the NASCAR Xfinity Series before his promotion to the Cup Series level. He is also a two-time winner in the Craftsman Truck Series, where he began his NASCAR national series career as part of Ford’s driver development program, and the 2016 ARCA Menards Series champion.
Like Stewart, a fellow Hoosier, Briscoe holds a rich dirt-track pedigree. The third-generation driver showed his skills at short tracks across the Midwest before moving to North Carolina in 2014 to follow a path toward stock-car racing. Briscoe noted those early years in the sport were filled with uncertainty; he enters 2023 with a far better sense of security.
“Definitely, it’s really nice to have stability, especially being a young father now,” Briscoe said. “I think that’s the biggest thing just for my family, that’s the nicest thing is just having that comfortability knowing that for the next few years that I might have a job. So that’s really important, obviously, especially when you’re raising a little one, and I think that’s probably the biggest thing for me, that’s most important about the whole thing is just how it affects my family versus how it affects me.
“So that’s really nice to have that. I’ve never had that my entire career, so that’s going to be something new for me to kind of navigate.”
Stewart won three Cup Series championships during his driving career, and he was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the Class of 2020. Of his 49 wins, 16 came driving the No. 14 – a number in tribute to his racing hero, A.J. Foyt.
The car number has been a part of the organization since 2009, when Stewart launched SHR with team co-owner Gene Haas. Stewart added his winning legacy to the No. 14, as did successor Clint Bowyer. Now Briscoe’s name is on that list.
“The first two years, I definitely felt like I was always getting in Clint’s car or getting in Tony’s car, and it was just kind of my name on it, but I was just filling in,” Briscoe said. “Like … that wasn’t me. I wasn’t a long-term guy for it. Where now, I feel like it is mine to a certain extent. You know, it’s still Tony’s obviously but I feel like it’s my car now, the 14. When people think of the 14, I want them to think about me because that’s how I feel, where before I was thinking it was Clint’s car or Tony’s car.
“So yeah, I definitely want to add a lot of history to the 14. It’s known for being this car that always is battling for championships and battling for wins and the driver’s just this down-to-earth, just normal dirt racer, and I feel like I want to add my history to the 14.”