● The NASCAR Cup Series rolls into Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the seventh playoff race and first in the Round of 8. Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), begins the round eighth in the reset playoff standings, nine points below the top-four cut off, after an exhilarating ninth-place finish last Sunday at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval. It was his third straight top-10 finish and seventh of the season.
● Briscoe started Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 17th and drove up through the field to finish seventh in the first stage and eighth in the second. He began the third stage deep in the field after pitting and was riding just outside the top-10 when he was spun by the No. 3 of Austin Dillon entering the backstretch chicane on lap 107. A caution shortly after allowed Briscoe to pit, and he restarted 27th on lap 110. Over the final lap, Briscoe powered along the 17-turn, 2.280-mile road course to race into 12th before reaching turn two of the oval. While battling for position with the final spot in the Round of 8 at stake, Briscoe drove deep into the backstretch chicane, outbraking the three cars in front of him to advance to ninth. He held his position as he entered turns three and four of the oval and to the checkered flag to keep his championship hopes alive.
● Briscoe has a best finish of 14th in three Cup Series starts at Las Vegas. Last March, he started fourth, finished the first stage eighth, and was running inside the top-10 before an accident on lap 135 relegated him to a 35th-place finish. The following week, he rebounded in a big way by earning his first Cup Series victory on the mile oval at Phoenix Raceway.
● In 2020, Briscoe earned his first Xfinity Series win of the season at Las Vegas in March and returned in September to complete the sweep. He also made one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start there in 2017, which resulted in a third-place finish.
● Joining Briscoe and the No. 14 team at Las Vegas will be longtime SHR partner Code 3 Associates, which has been a hero to animals for more than 30 years. If disaster strikes, Code 3 will deploy its Animal Rescue Team to help in emergencies like hurricanes, fires and floods.
● Code 3 teams are currently deployed in Florida in response to Hurricane Ian, where they have been working to move animals to higher ground or dry land and provide necessary food and water as flood waters subside. They also assist agencies with rescuing pets and finding temporary shelter. Recent updates from Florida include:
● Increased livestock rescues as teams have saved goats from a flooded barn, provided fresh hay and veterinary care to horses trapped by flood waters, opened a fence to allow cattle to move to dry land and grass, tended to chickens, and rescued several pigs.
● A team is working with Desoto Animal Control to break down and temporarily relocate animals to pet-friendly Red Cross shelter locations.
● Code 3 teams also traveled by Blackhawk helicopter to assess the needs of animals on Sanibel, Pine, and Captiva islands, which were cut off from the mainland.
Las Vegas has been a good track for you in the past. Does that give this next round a more exciting start?
“I love going to Las Vegas. It’s always been one of my favorite tracks. We were pretty good there earlier this year, and we’ve only gotten better on the mile-and-a-half tracks, so I’m excited to get there and see how things go. This round definitely plays more into my strengths and we’re coming into it with a lot of momentum. We’ve gotten so much better at places like Las Vegas and we had a really good test at Homestead a few weeks ago. Martinsville isn’t a place where I’ve been great in the past but we’ve been really good on the flat, short tracks, so I think we’d be OK if we had to race our way in there.”
A lot of people have doubted your ability to continue advancing through the playoffs. How do you handle the outside noise?
“I enjoy being the underdog and handle it much better when people do doubt us. I know we’re capable, our team knows we’re capable and it really doesn’t matter what other people think. I like not having that pressure, so that’s fine if it continues. We’re going to show up each race and do what we need to do. Even if we’re down, we’re not out and we’ve shown that these last few weeks, so we’ll keep it up and make our way to Phoenix.”