12 Questions with Chase Briscoe (2019)

The 12 Questions series of interviews continues this week with Chase Briscoe, who races in the Xfinity Series for Stewart-Haas Racing. These interviews are recorded as a podcast but also transcribed for those who prefer to read.

1. Are you an iPhone person or an Android person, and why?

iPhone, 100 percent. So I was in like 10th grade and my parents were like, “Alright, we’ll get you a smartphone.” So we go, and I was committed to getting an iPhone, right? And we go and the (sales) lady was like, “You can’t get weather on an iPhone. The radar won’t work.” I was like, “OK…”

So I got an Android, and I hated it. It was awful. So now I’ve been an iPhone guy ever since. They’re just so much more simple. Like an Android, I feel like, never worked. I don’t know, I just like the simplicity of an iPhone.

And you can get the weather now.

Well, come to find out, you could have gotten the radar back then on the iPhone.

It was probably a sales thing.

They were probably getting a cut back of Android sales, so they were like, “We’re gonna sell this guy an Android instead of an iPhone.”

2. If a fan meets you in the garage, they might only have a brief moment with you. So between an autograph, a selfie or quick comment, what is your advice on the best way to maximize that interaction?

All three. There might be a rare instance where I’m in a hurry, but I always will stop. I think it’s so cool when somebody wants my autograph or selfie or anything. So going out to driver intros for example, (I’ll leave) 15 minutes early. Every single time. Like I’ll go and sign every single autograph.

I was in their situation at one point where I thought it was super cool to get an autograph or just get to see (drivers), so it drives me nuts when guys just walk by. Like I get that you have (somewhere) to be at some point, but don’t blow by everybody, and don’t even say, “Hey,” or wave or high-five or anything like that. It drive me nuts.

My biggest pet peeve is when guys act like they’re so cool and blow everybody off. Like I don’t get it, because without them, you don’t have a job. They’re the whole reason we get to go do this. So yeah, I’m pretty big on that. Anything you want me to do, I’ll do it.

What are some memorable autographs that you got when you were younger?

I didn’t personally get them, my dad brought them home. I got a Jeff Gordon one one time in his rookie year. It was personalized to me and everything, because he and my dad used to race together, so that one was cool. I had a Tony Stewart one. I remember when my dad brought home this sidewall with a Hoosier sprint car tire and it had Kasey Kahne’s autograph on it. So those were probably my favorite three growing up, was Tony, Jeff and Kasey.

3. When someone pulls a jerk move on the road when you’re driving down the highway, does that feeling compare at all to when someone pulls a jerk move on the track?

It’s worse. Way worse! Like to me, when we’re racing, it’s your job to make it hard to get passed. Where on the road, you’re just cruising down the road. Like if I’m coming up 15 miles per hour quicker, just let me go. The biggest thing that drives me crazy is guys are just riding in the left lane, and you get over in the right lane, and then I make it a point to almost cut them off back in the left lane just to prove, “Hey, get out of the left lane.” And then they just keep cruising down it, like less than the speed limit! So to me, it’s worse if somebody chops me on the road than it is on the racetrack. Like it literally makes me mad.

4. Has there ever been a time where you’ve had a sketchy situation with your safety equipment?

I personally haven’t. I know there was a time in a sprint car, I forgot to strap my HANS, but it was under caution before hot laps, so I clicked it and was good to go.

But I have a good story about safety equipment. So Jack Hewitt, legendary guy in sprint cars, drove for my grandpa. He ran at Eldora, I think it was the last half of the race, without seatbelts. They broke off at Eldora. Ran a whole half of the race without seatbelts.

He didn’t pull in?

He won the race.



Oh my gosh, that is crazy.

Just running Eldora by yourself is sketchy. Now imagine in a race without seatbelts. And he was running like an inch off the wall.

Wow. One slip and it would have been it for him.

That’s brave.

5. If your crew chief put a super secret illegal part on your car that made it way faster, would you want to know about it?

That’s tough. So a little backstory on me, I know absolutely nothing about cars. Like I can’t work on them. I can do very basic things. Like I know what springs do, but I don’t. Like I know the basics of them.

So you could tell me that you had something super illegal on it, but I probably wouldn’t even know what it is in the first place. But I would like to know about it, because I feel like any time somebody gets caught cheating, the driver gets ridiculed for it online. Like just gets blasted. When at the end of the day, I had nothing to do with it. So I would probably like to know, just so I had a heads up.

But nobody cheats in NASCAR. (Grins)

I understand where you’re coming from, though, because you don’t want to have all these people tweeting at you and being like, “Chase Briscoe the cheater,” and you’re like, “I didn’t do anything!”

Yeah, I didn’t do it. Like, I drove it. I feel like that happens a lot, guys get in and they win — well, come to find out they’re cheating. But they didn’t know they had something illegal on the car. Like that’s the team’s job to push it each and every week, where I’m not the guy bolting the thing on there.

So I feel like I would like to know. But at the same time there’s a part of me that I would just rather not know, just get in and drive. Because if I win the race, I would like to know it wasn’t because of an illegal part. Like I would rather think, “Hey, our team did a really good job, they had the car set up right, I did my job behind the wheel” — not because I cheated. I would like to think we did our job right, not that a part did its job right.

6. What is a food you would not recommend eating right before a race and are you speaking with personal experience with this recommendation?

So I think I told you on our last 12 Questions that I’m super picky. Like never had a hot dog, never had peanut butter and jelly — I’m super picky. So what I eat is very limited and very fried food.

So before the Roval (where he ended up winning), I go to Ford’s little RV bus thing, and they have chicken tenders and nacho cheese. So I down these things, right? Well, last 10 laps of the Roval, I was starting to get a little sick. So as good as it was, and it obviously worked out for me, I feel like it probably wasn’t the best thing to eat before the race — chicken tenders and nacho cheese.

So when you win a race, does that stomach pain go away? Is that like the version of Tums or Pepto for a driver? Or were you still getting out of the car being like, “Ugh.”

No, I for sure forget about it as soon as we won. But 10 to go, I was like, “Man, my stomach is like…” I felt like I was gonna throw up. But then five to go, I was good after that.

The Ford people still give me a hard time, like, “We’re not having chicken tenders and nacho cheese again.”

7. Is there life in outer space, and if so, do they race?

I have no idea. I don’t get into that stuff honestly. I don’t care about aliens, if there even are any. I don’t think there are, but that’s like the least of things I think about.

Are you not like a Star Wars guy or anything like that?

Never watched a movie.

Never watched any of the Star Wars movies?

Never. Never saw Star Trek, never seen any of that stuff.

8. What do drivers talk about when they’re standing around at driver intros before a race?

So I always try to talk to guys about dirt racing and try to get them to come race dirt.

You try to convert them.

Yeah, I try to convert them. And then other than that, we always talk about how hot it is normally. Like “Man, it’s gonna be brutal today. It’s too hot to race.”

And then — I’m giving away my secrets here — but I always try to find out how their car is (by saying), “Man, I’m struggling over here.” And I may not be struggling there, but I want them to be like, “Yeah, I’m struggling there, too.” That way I know during the race that’s a spot they struggle with. So I try to make a little notebook.

Hopefully none of them will read this.

So you just kind of float it out there that you’re bad in a certain spot and hope to get information from it.

I’m like, “Man, I am terrible going into (Turn) 3.” And they’ll be like, “Yeah, me too. In practice, I was so loose.” And then in the race, I’m thinking, “If I just drive up on their back bumper (in Turn 3), they’re really gonna be loose.”

Now next time I’m going to ask somebody this, and they’re going to be like, “I ain’t telling you.”

Right, I know. Well, not enough people read this, so…

Well, I don’t know. I read it every week.

9. What makes you happy right now?

A lot of things. So I got a dog, so that’s one thing I never thought I would be into. Like I had a dog growing up, but I’ve never really took care of it or anything. But now that I have my own dog, I’m a helicopter parent. Like I’m always making sure he doesn’t get into anything or get hurt.

I’m recently engaged, so that’s fun. Me and Marissa do a lot of things together. Life’s good right now. Got a full-time ride for the guy I’ve always dreamed of racing for (Tony Stewart), so it’s good. Hopefully, we start running good now that the season’s started. And then it’ll be really, really good.

Well you’ve got to leave some room to be at max happiness. You don’t want to peak too early.

Yeah, you can’t.

10. Let’s say a sponsor comes to you and says, “We are going to fully fund the entire rest of your racing career on the condition that you wear a clown nose and an 80’s rocker wig in every interview you do forever.” Would you accept that offer?

Oh, I’d do it. Absolutely. I would do it probably just for the fun of it. Not the clown nose, but I would wear like a wig, especially a mullet wig. I don’t want to give away a secret, but I’m probably gonna wear one of those Rico (Abreu) mullet hats at Darlington. That thing is pretty sweet. So I would do something like that.

Did you purchase one at the Chili Bowl?

I didn’t, but I’m gonna get one.

I don’t know, I heard they sold out.

I feel like I could probably get one. But in high school, I was that guy who always used to go to the basketball game and just dress like an idiot. So that kind of stuff’s not out of the question for me. Those days have kind of passed, but I feel like down deep they’re somewhere in there or I could do stuff like that.

You don’t mind putting yourself out there that way?

I feel like I’m less likely to now, but before I didn’t care. Like anything that I thought would get people to laugh, I would do it. Where now I’m not as much like that, but I would still probably do it. Like I’ll probably definitely wear the mullet hat if I can get one.

11. This is the 10th year of the 12 Questions. There has never been a repeat question until now. Pick a number between 1 and 100, and I’m going to pull up a random question from a past year’s series.


This is from the 2013 12 Questions. And the question is, “What is your song of the moment right now?” Something you’re listening to a lot or you think fans should download, or I guess stream?

That’s a good question. I’ve got a funny little story for you. So this song I heard coming back from Homestead, we were riding back with one of the crew guys. And I heard this song on the radio, I’d heard it a couple times, and I was like, “Man, that’s a really good song.” So I could not remember it. Like, looked everywhere for it. Me and Marissa both were like, “Man, what’s the song called?” She didn’t really pay attention to it, and I was typing in lyrics I thought I heard on Google and I couldn’t find it.

So I come down to Daytona, get in my rental car, and it’s on — after three months of trying to figure out what this song was. So I instantly called her and put her on speakerphone and played it all the way up, I’m like, “Listen to what’s on!” She’s like, “What the heck is this? I don’t even know.”

So the song is called “Burn the House Down” and it’s like got this really good little trumpet beat to it. I don’t know, I thought it was really good. So I’ve been playing it a lot lately.

Who is it by?

Some three letters, AJ something, I don’t know. AGR or something. It’s on a pop station all the time.

(Editor’s note: The band, actually named AJR, was announced as the concert act for the NASCAR All-Star race after this interview was conducted.)


12. The last interview was with William Byron. I think he was gearing it towards the Cup schedule, but he wants to know as far as a weekend schedule goes, what would be the ideal weekend schedule in your mind? How many days, how many practices, things like that?

I feel like the least amount of practice, the better. It’s tough because if I’m in the car that weekend and we’re way off, I want as much practice as I can get. But at the same time, like if you go dirt racing, you literally get two or three laps, and then you go racing. So like a lot of times you go to places you’ve never even been before and it’s, “Alright, here’s your two laps and you’re gonna go qualify.” And it’s hard to figure a place out. I don’t think we need to go that extreme, but I do feel like we can cut back on a little more practice.

I wouldn’t mind seeing almost a random draw race. Like go for a random draw, and then we line them up Friday night and the winner gets a (playoff) point. You don’t have to race if you don’t want to; say some guys are like, “Man, we know we’re not gonna win, so we’re not gonna race,” so you might only get 20 cars out there. But then we go race for an extra (playoff) point and it’s random draw. So one week you might start on the pole, the next week you might start 20th.

So this is like a short heat race or something?

Kind of. It’s like 30 laps — that way you got enough time to get up there. But you have to run on your tires that you practiced on.

And this would set qualifying? Or set the starting lineup?

No, we would still qualify for the race on Sunday.

This is just a total bonus race?

Yeah, it’s a bonus race. And it’s free admission. Free admission, Friday night, 30 laps.

Racing for a playoff point, optional.

Yup. You don’t have to race if you don’t want to if you don’t want to tear your car up. And you have to run on the first set of tires you run on practice. So you might have 20 laps on them, you might have five laps on them.

Where did you get this idea from?

I don’t know, it just came to my head, but I feel like it would work. Free admission would be a hit.

Everybody’s already here anyway.

Exactly. So let’s race Friday night. Get Steve O’Donnell on the phone.

I don’t know who the next interview is going to be with. Do you have a question I can ask another driver?

I feel like the Cup Series is the best race car drivers in the world, right? So we go to short tracks, we go to intermediates, we go to road courses, superspeedways. Why don’t we run a dirt track? So would they be against running on dirt in the Cup Series or not? Because I feel like we should be challenged in every single discipline and that’s the best race car drivers in the world. So why not?

So would they be for or against a Cup Series race on dirt?

Yeah. Two of them.


Everything else gets two, so why not? And what two tracks?

OK. So if you are for the race, what two tracks would you want to see?

And if you don’t want to go dirt, what two tracks should we run in Cup that we don’t go to right now? It could be anywhere.

Previous 12 Questions interviews with Chase Briscoe:

Oct. 4, 2017


12 Questions with Chase Briscoe

The 12 Questions series of interviews continues this week with Chase Briscoe, who is currently fifth in the Camping World Truck Series playoff standings entering next week’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. Briscoe, 22, drives for Brad Keselowski Racing.

1. How much of your success is based on natural ability and how much has come from working at it?

I think to a certain extent, natural ability can carry you a certain way, but you’re not gonna get good at pit stops or restarts just by natural ability. You have to work at that, and I think that’s where you see guys win a lot of races — they do that extra work and they do their homework. I feel like that’s what kind of separates the champions from the non-champions, is the champions work at it in all areas and know where they can win and lose races.

2. Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and now Dale Earnhardt Jr. have all either retired in the last couple years or will retire soon. What’s your pitch for fans of theirs to become fans of yours?

I feel like me personally, I’m kind of that old-school driver. I don’t have family backing or a big sponsor. Literally straight out of high school, I moved to North Carolina, sleeping on couches and volunteering at race shops and somehow convinced a team to let me drive for them. So I feel like that’s kind of like the old days, how all those guys were. That’s probably my sales pitch, is that I’m kind of a throwback guy that’s kind of one of the few that’s done it that way, at least in the last 10 or 15 years. So that’s why I should be your guy.

What was the limit for sleeping on somebody’s couch? Did you overstay your welcome at times?

I stayed at one in particular for a really long time, and we worked a deal — like $50 for two months. So I could at least afford that. But yeah, after awhile you could tell he was kind of getting upset. I stayed there for a year and a half; I was there for a long time. But he was nice enough to let me stay there. If I wasn’t staying there, I don’t know where I would have been. I would have been on the streets, I guess.

Whose couch was this?

His name is Ross Wece. Me and (Christopher) Bell actually both stayed there for a couple of months. (Wece) works for the World of Outlaws, so I know him from sprint car racing. He always says that if me and Bell ever make it to Cup, that couch might be in the Hall of Fame or something crazy.

3. What is the hardest part of your job away from the racetrack?

Just the sacrifice you have to make, not being able to be at family events or family holidays. That part of it is tough for sure. I don’t think people realize how much goes into it outside the racetrack. I personally didn’t realize how busy NASCAR guys were. I thought they raced on weekends and had the whole week off, and that’s definitely not the case — it’s not the case at the Truck level and I know for sure it’s not at the Cup level. It’s just tough to balance everything outside of the racetrack, I think.

4. Let’s say a fan spots you eating dinner in a nice restaurant. Should they come over for an autograph or no?

Yeah. I’d be surprised if anyone even recognized me, though, honestly. (Laughs) But I’m all for that. I always try to go out of my way, even when we’re walking out to the starting lineup or whatever, I at least try to stay there as long as I can. So yeah, absolutely.

5. What’s a story in NASCAR that doesn’t get enough coverage?

I think the behind-the-scenes guys, the guys at the shop. I feel like you’re only as good as the race car that you’re in, and there’s a lot of people that put countless hours in it. There’s guys who stay in the shop until 10 or 11 at night who never even get recognized when it comes down to it. The drivers and the crew chiefs obviously get a lot of coverage, but if it wasn’t for that guy doing tear-down or building truck arms or whatever it is, we wouldn’t even get to go to the racetrack.

6. Who is the last driver you texted?

There’s a lot who I’ve texted (at New Hampshire) trying to figure this place out. Actually the last one would have been (Kyle) Larson. I texted him a little bit ago. He was curious about what the VHT stuff was doing, and I’ve been asking him a ton of questions.

Are there a lot of Cup guys that will help you out if you have questions?

Yeah, for the most part. A lot of the times it’s the sprint car guys, so obviously Larson. I’ve reached out to Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon has helped me out in the past. Between Brad and Kyle, those are normally my go-tos. And outside of the Cup guys, I do talk to Bell and Cole Custer quite a bit. So there’s a couple guys at least that I have to lean on and that makes it really nice going to a lot of these racetracks.

7. Do you consider race car drivers to be entertainers?

Yeah, I think so. People come for entertainment, so they’re paying to watch us race. A lot of the entertainment at times is not on the racetrack — so whether that’s guys getting into arguments or fighting or whatever, I think we’re entertainers.

8. What is your middle finger policy on the racetrack?

I’ve never given one, so I don’t have one, to be honest. I’ve received a couple, but I’m not a guy that’s gonna go out there and cuss somebody out after the race or flip somebody off. If you want to do it, more power to you, but I’m not too worried about it.

Is that because you don’t get mad inside the truck, or do you just keep in internal?

I was just raised different. Like if I ever got into somebody, my dad would make me go over and apologize to him, because I knew I would get my head thumped if I didn’t. So I was kind of racing the old school way. I was just taught you don’t need to be doing that; just focus on the racing.

9. Some drivers keep a payback list in their minds. Do you also have a list for drivers who have done you a favor on the track?

Yeah, I race people how they race me typically. I’ve never tried to wreck anybody on purpose, but if guys give me a little extra room and it’s early in the race or we’re struggling, then I’ll typically give it back to them or whatever. I feel like there’s guys I definitely race harder than others; we’re racing everybody hard, but there’s guys you tend to give a little bit of a break to.

10. Who is the most famous person you’ve had dinner with?

Probably Brad. He’s probably the only famous guy I’ve ever really had dinner with for sure.

11. What’s something about yourself you’d like to improve?

My eating habits. I’m like the pickiest eater in the entire world. Like I just ate pizza rolls. I’ve never had a hot dog, I don’t really eat fruits or vegetables. I could work out as much as I want to, but until I get my eating habits right, there’s not gonna be much benefit.

Is it not enough healthy food or just there’s just certain foods you just don’t like?

I just don’t like a lot of the foods. Like the texture and the taste of it. I don’t know. I’ve always been that way ever since I was little. I’ve only had steak maybe two or three times in my life. I’m just super picky.


I eat chicken, but not very much grilled chicken. Just recently, within the past year and a half or so, I started eating grilled chicken. I can’t eat chicken on the bone. It’s just a very processed diet.

So what’s a typical meal then? You’re just heating something up in the microwave?

A lot of the time, or going to fast food. Yeah, the only healthy healthy thing I eat, which is not the healthiest thing, is grilled chicken and rice. I like a lot of rice and pasta. It’s a very narrow path of stuff I do actually eat.

12. The last interview I did was with Jimmie Johnson, and I asked him to give a question for you.

He’s probably like, “Who is that?”

He seemed to know. But his question that he passed along was: What kind of underwear do you wear? Is it boxers or briefs?

I’m a boxers guy. Yeah, definitely boxers. Always have been. I never thought Jimmie Johnson would ask me that, personally. That’s one thing I’ll have to tell my buddies: Jimmie Johnson was curious about what kind of underwear I wore.

I don’t know who the next interview is going to be with. Do you have a question I can ask him?

My question would have to be: Outside of NASCAR, what would be the biggest race you would like to win? For me, personally, it would be the Chili Bowl.