Chase Briscoe Feels Early Troubles “Definitely a Concern” for Him, Kevin Harvick, and SHR Drivers in NASCAR Season

Published 03/28/2021, 11:00 AM EDT
AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 07: Chase Briscoe, driver of the #98 Ford Performance Racing School Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series LS Tractor 200 at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


One of the biggest early shockers in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season has been the form of Kevin Harvick. For any other driver, having five top-10 finishes in the first six races would be considered a strong start. But that is not the case for Harvick, who dominated the regular season in 2020.

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However, it is not just Harvick. Stewart-Haas Racing, as an organization, has struggled a lot in the first few races of the season. Apart from Harvick, the team’s three other Cup drivers – Chase Briscoe, Aric Almirola, and Cole Custer – do not have even one top-10 finish between them.

Add Harvick’s lack of pace to that, and SHR has a lot of work ahead of them if they are to reverse their fortunes this year.

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Briscoe is one of the rookies this year and the transition has been quite tough for him, especially since the car’s struggles have been there for everyone to see. The best Xfinity Series driver last season with nine wins, Briscoe has huge shoes to fill in the No. 14 Cup car.

Mar 14, 2021; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Briscoe (14) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Aric Almirola (10) drive during the NASCAR Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Briscoe highlights Kevin Harvick and Co’s struggles in 2021 NASCAR season

The young driver admitted to the team’s lack of speed and confidence as a unit and feels that the cars are just not good enough to compete with some of the top drivers.

“It’s no secret, I feel like we’re off as a company a little bit right now,” Briscoe said during an interview. “It seems like our cars don’t have the raw speed of the other cars, and they just don’t drive very good right now, either. I know there is definitely a concern,” he added.

At the same time, Briscoe hinted that the SHR unit is trying its best to fix those issues. “Our competition meetings have been very intense the last couple of weeks,” he said.

Mar 7, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (4) and driver William Byron (24) lead the field for the start of the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With the likes of Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Team Penske dominating the proceedings, Harvick-led Stewart-Haas Racing will have to hit their strides sooner than later.

A tough start to Briscoe’s rookie Cup season

Meanwhile, Briscoe himself is languishing in the 27th position on points. He realizes that the consistency will need to come soon as the playoff spots are getting filled rapidly.

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Obviously, we need to turn it around quick or we’re gonna be in a must-win situation fairly early. We’re almost already to that point, so we’ll see how this weekend goes,” Briscoe expressed. 

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – SEPTEMBER 19: NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Chase Briscoe speaks to the media during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Media Day at Richmond Raceway on September 19, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Briscoe will look at the Bristol dirt race as the chance to find some form. He is one of the drivers with past dirt racing experience and he has been helping Harvick and other teammates as well with some inputs on dirt racing.

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MORE – WATCH: Best Moments From the NASCAR Cup Series Practice Sessions on Bristol Dirt

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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