Sunday’s 65th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway marks Chase Briscoe’s third start in the prestigious NASCAR Cup Series event. In last year’s race, Briscoe drove his No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to a third-place finish, his best at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. His Daytona 500 debut in 2021 resulted in a 19th-place finish.
● Briscoe begins his third fulltime points-paying season in the Cup Series with the same team but with new stability as the 28-year-old was signed to a multi-year contract extension during the offseason. He and the Mahindra Tractors team also began 2023 at the non-points Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum two weekends ago with a performance reminiscent of their 2022 outing in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Briscoe was consistently fastest in his practice group and in the top-five overall throughout Saturday’s two-hour practice session on the tight, quarter-mile paved oval. Damage sustained late in practice hindered the No. 14 team’s qualifying effort, but Briscoe still turned the 11th-quickest lap and went on to finish second in his heat race Sunday to earn a seventh-place starting position for the 150-lap feature. Unlike last year’s feature, when Briscoe retired early with a mechanical issue, he completed every lap this year and was strongest on the long run. However, a string of cautions in the latter stages of the race slowed his ability to advance higher than 15th.
● On-track action at Daytona begins with single-lap qualifying Wednesday night, when the front row for the Daytona 500 will be set. The Bluegreen Vacations Duel – twin 150-mile qualifying races that set the 40-car field for Sunday’s race follows on Thursday. Drivers in odd-numbered qualifying positions compete in the first Duel and those in even-numbered qualifying positions battle in the second Duel to fill out the rest of the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
● In his two August outings at Daytona, which marks the end of the Cup Series regular season, Briscoe finished 21st in 2021 and was scored 31st last year after getting caught up in an accident on lap 124.
● Briscoe made six previous starts at Daytona prior to joining the Cup Series – four in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and one apiece in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and in the ARCA Racing Series. He started inside the top-10 for five of those races, with his best being a third-place qualifying effort in the 2016 ARCA season opener. His best finish was third, earned twice – August 2020 in the Xfinity Series and February 2017 in the Truck Series.
● Mahindra Tractors adorns the No. 14 Ford Mustang for The Great American Race for the second straight year. Houston-based Mahindra Ag North America joined SHR prior to the 2022 season with Mahindra Tractors as the anchor sponsor for Briscoe and the No. 14 team. Following a successful year that included a top-three in last year’s Daytona 500, a career-first win at Phoenix Raceway and a tenacious run through the playoffs, the No. 14 team’s cheering section in Daytona will include an international contingent as executives from Mahindra Tractors will host Mahindra Group leadership from India and other U.S. Mahindra companies and their customers.