Mahindra Tractors Racing: Chase Briscoe Chicago Street Race Advance


Chicago Street Race Advance
No. 14 Mahindra Compact Tractors Ford Mustang Dark Horse

Event Overview
● Event: Grant Park 165 (Round 20 of 36)
● Time/Date: 4:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 7
● Location: Chicago Street Course
● Layout: 2.2-mile, 12-turn street course
● Laps/Miles: 75 laps/165 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 20 laps / Stage 2: 25 laps / Final Stage: 30 laps
● TV/Radio: NBC / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Notes of Interest

● “Hot Streets:” In last year’s inaugural Chicago Street Race, temperatures were high before biblical rain inundated the city. Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang Dark Horse for Stewart-Haas Racing, described the conditions: “I remember on practice day we had a temperature sensor inside the car and it was 155 degrees. It was going to be brutal on Sunday, and the rain honestly saved us all from baking alive. Hopefully, it’s sunny this year, but 75 (degrees) and not 100.”

● “Street Player:” Briscoe started 16th and finished 20th in last year’s Chicago Street Race. He has 21 career road-course starts in the NASCAR Cup Series, with five top-10 finishes spread across Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, (sixth in 2021), Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (sixth in 2021), Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International (ninth in 2021), the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval (ninth in 2022) and the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (sixth in 2023). In Briscoe’s most recent road course start – June 9 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway – he finished 34th after a broken transmission sent him to an early exit.

● “Saturday in the Park:” Qualifying for the Grant Park 165 takes place on Saturday, and it’s where Sunday’s 75-lap race around the 2.2-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit could very well be won. Track position will be paramount, as those starting up front are far more likely to stay up front. The fewer cars ahead of a driver, the fewer drivers to pass and the fewer chances to get caught up in someone else’s mistake. Consider that in arguably the most recognized street race in all of motorsports – the Monaco Grand Prix on the streets of Monte Carlo – the race winner has come from the front row 50 times, including all but two of the last 15 races. The furthest back a driver has won the Monaco Grand Prix is 14th, when Olivier Panis won in 1996.

● “Take Me Back to Chicago:” For 19 years, the NASCAR Cup Series competed 45 miles southwest of Chicago in Joliet, Illinois. Chicagoland Speedway, a 1.5-mile, D-shaped oval, debuted in 2001 and Briscoe competed in two NASCAR Xfinity Series races at the track, finishing ninth (2018) and 15th (2019) in the stepping-stone division to the elite Cup Series.

● “Just You ‘n’ Me:” While there is still a bit of newness with NASCAR coming to the streets of Chicago, one pairing that has tenure is that of Briscoe and his crew chief, Richard Boswell. The Grant Park 165 will serve as their 40th NASCAR Cup Series race together, but the duo first joined forces back in 2018 when they were paired up in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. They won nine races together before coming to Cup, including Briscoe’s first career Xfinity Series win, which fittingly came at a road course – the Charlotte Roval in 2018.

● “In the Country:” Road courses are the most applicable style of venue to compare to a street circuit. The difference, however, is that road courses are purpose-built facilities designed with plenty of runoff area. These style of tracks comprise acres upon acres of land, which typically places them in more rural settings. Briscoe has made 11 road-course starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In fact, it was road-course racing in the Xfinity Series that helped put Briscoe on the map when it came to his burgeoning NASCAR career, as he scored two road-course wins among eight top-10 finishes. At the inaugural race on the Charlotte Roval on Sept. 29, 2018 in what was Briscoe’s 14th career Xfinity Series start, the Mitchell, Indiana-native scored his first Xfinity Series win. Briscoe said afterward that he tapped into his dirt-track experience in wheeling his Ford Mustang to a strong 1.478-second margin of victory over runner-up Justin Marks. “It drove like a dirt track instead of a road course, and it felt like I was in a sprint car. I just tried to make sure the rear tires never spun. I had to give up a little time coming off the corner, but I’d make it back up on the straightaway, and that’s why I was always better at the end of the run.” Briscoe’s second Xfinity Series win on a road course came in another inaugural race – the 2020 Brickyard 150 on the road course at Indianapolis. On July 4, 2020, Briscoe started 12th and methodically worked his way to the front, taking the lead on lap 24. He wound up leading five times for a race-high 30 laps to take the victory by 1.717 seconds ahead of second-place Justin Haley. Despite the win happening during COVID restrictions, Briscoe was elated to win at his home track in a car owned by Indiana icon Tony Stewart. “Everybody knows that my hero in racing was Tony Stewart. To get to drive for him and watch him win at the Brickyard, climbing the fence was always his signature thing and I just wanted to do it. Obviously, it’s not the same prestige as winning on the oval, but we still won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It doesn’t matter if you’re racing on the oval, the road course, the dirt track or even the parking lot, it’s special when you win here. Growing up, coming here all the time, it’s unbelievable to think that I just won here.”

● “State of the Union:” The Grant Park 165 is the third of five races on the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series schedule where drivers will turn left and right. Briscoe finished 13th in the first road-course race of the year March 24 at COTA and 34th on June 9 at Sonoma. After Chicago, the series heads to Watkins Glen on Sept. 15 and the Charlotte Roval on Oct. 12.

● “Bigger Than Elvis:” Mahindra Ag North America is a proud sponsor of Briscoe and Stewart-Haas, and 2024 highlights an impressive milestone for Mahindra – 30 years of selling tractors in the United States. Houston-based Mahindra Ag North America is part of Mahindra Group’s Automotive and Farm Sector, the No. 1-selling farm tractor company in the world, based on volumes across all company brands. Mahindra offers a range of tractor models from 20-75 horsepower, implements, and the ROXOR heavy-duty UTV. Mahindra farm equipment is engineered to be easy to operate by first-time tractor or side-by-side owners and heavy duty to tackle the tough jobs of rural living, farming and ranching. Steel-framed Mahindra Tractors and side-by-sides are ideal for customers who demand performance, reliability and comfort. Mahindra dealers are independent, family-owned businesses located throughout the U.S. and Canada.

● “You’re the Inspiration:” Mahindra Ag North America is using the Grant Park 165 to promote its newest line of sub-compact and compact tractors, which are designed with features to enhance operation for first-time buyers. Boasting comfort amenities like telematics, leather seats and USB charging ports, the Mahindra 1100 and 2100 models are designed around ease of use for acreage owners, farmers and ranchers, with features like a push-button PTO and side-by-side HST pedals. Other features include a hand throttle on the console, tilt and telescopic steering, implement quick raise and lower, and auto lift at three points while turning and backing. Every model in the 1100 and 2100 series is available in open station or cab configurations, with an HVAC system exclusive to the 2126. This line of compacts have compatible Mahindra attachments, including loaders, backhoes, mowers, snowblowers, post hole diggers and grapples. The loader on the 1100 series has a max lift of 770 pounds, while the 2100 has a max lift of 1,760 pounds.

Chase Briscoe, Driver of the No. 14 Mahindra Compact Tractors Ford Mustang Dark Horse

What was your impression of the Chicago Street Race after the checkered flag dropped on last year’s inaugural race?

“It was quite the weekend. I just remember being blown away at how well the whole thing was run. We were all apprehensive with how it was going to be like, but I thought they did an amazing job just putting the whole thing together and giving us a racetrack we could actually race on. I was mind-blown at how many people were there in the pouring rain, just thinking how cool it would’ve been if we could’ve had good weather. There could’ve been 300,000, 400,000 people there, I felt like. Hopefully, this year the weather will cooperate.”

What misconceptions did you have going into the Chicago Street Race that turned out to be no big deal once you got there?

“I’d never been to the city of Chicago before. I thought the city was super cool. I felt safe the whole time. It was super nice, well-kept. I actually explored the city quite a bit. I went to a game at Wrigley. That was the one thing I would say that stood out, just how small Wrigley Field is. Even seeing Wrigleyville – growing up I’d always watch on TV during the playoffs and it looked like this massive place, and you get there and it’s small and tiny. Just going to Wrigley and seeing parts of the city I’d always seen on TV, but getting to see them in person was pretty cool.”

Take us through a lap around Chicago. Were there any parts of the track where you enjoyed hustling the car, and what parts turned out to be a challenge?

“All of it was fun and all of it was a challenge, all at the same time. I didn’t feel like there was one part of the racetrack that was necessarily any easier or more fun than another. The back half was pretty narrow versus the front half, but it’s all fun. You’re going through the city streets and there are walls on both sides and it feels like you’re running way faster than you really are. I’d say my favorite part was probably the fountain area. You were bouncing all over the place. You just felt like you were on the ragged edge, which was really cool because it always felt like you really had to risk a lot to gain a lot. I enjoy that part of it, but I honestly enjoyed the whole racetrack. I thought it was a lot of fun.”

Can you take anything from your two road-course races this year at COTA and Sonoma and apply them to Chicago?

“There’s definitely not a whole lot similar in the sense of what the racetracks are, but I definitely think there are things you can take away setup-wise. At COTA, for example, I thought our brakes were among the best in the field, but at Sonoma we tried something totally different and I thought I was the worst-braking car in the field. So, just being able to check that box and know we probably shouldn’t bring back what we had at Sonoma will be good. I definitely think there’s something you can take away from it depending on what you learned at those two races. But it’s still a totally unique situation, a totally different type of racetrack, and you’ve just got to figure out what’s best for that place.”

Talk about what’s going on inside the racecar at Chicago. How much are you thrashing around, grabbing gears, hitting the brakes, smashing the gas? Is it controlled chaos?

“It’s definitely chaos, and it’s even hard to talk to your crew because at times you’re just so far away from where they’re sitting. Unlike a lot of other racetracks, there are buildings and trees and all kinds of stuff that interferes with the radio, so they can’t even hear you half the time. Inside the racecar, there’s no break. You’re just constantly getting after it, you’re sliding around, different parts of the street have more grip, there are potholes, there are manhole covers. It’s definitely a fun place to just turn laps because you’re getting after it the whole time. I’m looking forward to going there the second year now and, hopefully, we can build on what we had last year and make our stuff drive a little bit better and be in the mix at the end.”

With Shane van Gisbergen’s win at Chicago last year, it really shined a spotlight on Australian Supercars drivers. How much did you know about SVG and Supercars prior to his win last year?

“It’s definitely opened up the door for the V8 Supercars guys. I feel like everywhere we go now, there’s always at least one in the field. It’s funny, I was probably 13-14 years old and me and my buddies would always race online and race on rFactor, and I remember we were running dirt midgets and this guy came in there, his name is Shane Van Gisbergen, and he joined the server, and one of my buddies was freaking out. He’s like, ‘Dude, do you know who that is?’ I had no idea who the guy was. I never heard of him before. I hadn’t ever watched V8 Supercars. He started telling me who he was and he started sending me videos of him, SVG ripping around Bathurst and stuff. So then I learned who he was, and ever since then I’ve known of him, but I never did keep up with him. When he came and raced with us last year, I at least knew who he was, but I still haven’t asked him if he remembers ever getting on there and racing with us.”