● The NASCAR Cup Series returns to Darlington (S.C.) Raceway for the second time this year with Chase Briscoe back behind the wheel of a HighPoint.com-sponsored Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). The No. 14 team hopes to capitalize on the experience of dynamic duo Briscoe and crew chief Richard Boswell, who partnered for a memorable NASCAR Xfinity Series win in 2020 on the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval.
● In the Cup Series’ first visit to Darlington in May, Briscoe started 31st and drove to a 17th-place finish. He has a best finish of 11th earned in May 2021 which came in his first of five Cup Series starts at Darlington. Briscoe also finished no worse than 11th in three Xfinity Series starts at Darlington, which included the 2020 win.
● When NASCAR returned to action in May 2020 after a 10-week shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Briscoe was the first NASCAR Xfinity Series driver to earn a win – his second of nine that season. He started 11th for the 200-lap race around “The Track Too Tough To Tame,” and ran among the top-10 for the majority of the race. A quick pit stop put Briscoe in the lead for a lap-138 restart, setting up a battle with Kyle Busch, the winningest driver in Xfinity Series history with 102 career victories. After a fierce duel, Briscoe prevailed by a .086-of-a-second margin over the runner-up Busch.
● For the second year running, Briscoe will drive a black-and-white HighPoint.com Ford Mustang for Sunday’s Southern 500 in place of the traditional blue-and-white colors of HighPoint for one of the crown jewel races of the NASCAR Cup Series. The change in color honors the late sportswriter and 2016 Squier-Hall Award recipient Benny Phillips, who gave Darlington the moniker, “The Lady in Black.”
● The name of HighPoint.com employee Tom Brahs will be riding along with Briscoe for the 367-lap race at Darlington. As an IT Manager overseeing external customer support and internal security initiatives at HighPoint, NOC Engineer Brahs is described as the ultimate team player. His favorite HighPoint Fundamental is, “Do the right thing, ALWAYS,” and he truly represents this fundamental in the attitude he brings to his role daily. Brahs joined HighPoint five years ago and, since day one, his focus has been on client satisfaction, whether the client is internal or external. His outreach goes far beyond the work he does at HighPoint as he is the Past Deputy Chief of the Hampton Township fire department in New Jersey and now serves as a volunteer fireman. Brahs has been married to his wife Amy for 26 years. They have a beautiful daughter, Makalya, who will head off to college this year, and two angels, Nicolas and Aryanna. Tom, Amy and Makalya are avid NASCAR and dirt racing fans who will be traveling to Darlington to cheer on the No. 14 HighPoint.com team.
You made a strong run in the playoffs last year, but a tough season has you on the outside looking in for this year’s final 10 races. How does the approach for the final 10 races change for the No. 14 team?
“I’m obviously bummed we aren’t going to be competing in the playoffs. I felt like if we could get in, we could probably be a little more competitive just based off the momentum we were able to pick up last year. But we’ve gone through a lot of changes this year and we’ve had to work through a lot. These last 10 races don’t change too much for us. We still show up wanting to run up front and win, but we know that it’s also a chance to learn as much as we can for next season. There are still some things we are working through as a team now that we have Richard (Boswell, crew chief) calling the shots, so we’ll take every opportunity we can get to learn and become a better, stronger team.”
Is there a track in this last 10-race stretch that you’re looking forward to visiting?
“We have two short tracks coming up that I’m really looking forward to. We learned a lot at Bristol last year and I think we can lean on that to have a good run again this year, and maybe build on what we know a little. The other is Martinsville. We led a lot of laps this year and I think, had it gone green, we probably could’ve had a chance at a win. Even last year at Martinsville, we had a really strong car, but we had to take a chance on pit strategy to go for a win and advance to Phoenix, and it didn’t quite work out for us. But, I think those are the two where we can apply what we’ve been working on and have a chance to finish the season with some positive results.”