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via Imago

via Imago

With the Food City 500 looming large, Erik Jones and Chase Briscoe’s “connection issues” have taken a spotlight after last week’s Phoenix race. Jones in his Legacy Motor Club Toyota was one of the fastest cars on the track, but an impressive P4 starting spot turned into a disappointing P31 in the end, at the behest of an incident involving Briscoe’s #14 SHR Ford and Bubba Wallace’s #23 Toyota.

With around 70 laps to go, a four-wide brushup left Jones ruing a missed chance at another Top-10 finish in 2024. The #43 had Briscoe to blame for the incident, however, stating how he hoped “to call him this afternoon and talk” about his recurring frustrations towards the resident Hoosier.

Chase Briscoe did sound disappointed

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When Briscoe was asked by Bob Pockrass if Jones did, in fact, call, he told the FOX correspondent, “Never really got a phone call, never had a missed call. Would’ve gladly taken the phone call for sure. I don’t know if he just watched the reply and kind of saw what happened, but yeah, never got a phone call.” 

However, this was not well received by Jimmie Johnson’s #43, as he shared a screenshot on Twitter of his message to Briscoe’s number yesterday at noon. The message read, “Hey man. Erik Jones. Give me a call when you get a chance. Thanks.” This text was apparently ignored, as fans could make out from the absence of a reply on the other end. What followed next looks like it’s straight out of a Netflix documentary.

 

Social media updates show that their haulers are right next to each other, only separated by #42 John Hunter Nemechek in Bristol. This 21st-century rivalry has taken a bizarre turn, as it seems that Briscoe, in recent happenings, at some point in time changed his cell number. The #14 driver told Noah Lewis of TSJSports that he had “switched numbers like 3 months ago,” as Briscoe himself shared another one of these updates recently that proved his innocence with his own screenshot proof.

With tensions still boiling, Chase Briscoe and Erik Jones could very well reignite their feud at “The Last Great Colosseum” tomorrow. The #14’s nonchalant replies to Bob Pockrass about the whole incident paint a picture of an unresolved issue.

Will the feud boil over on Sunday?

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Briscoe started, “So, I don’t know it is frustrating to how guys are I guess… Not him, but just really half the field is just so sensitive on racing hard, and that’s what we’re here to do – race hard. It should be hard for you to pass me, just like it should be really hard for me to pass you.” His sentiments struck strong as he went on to explain.

“I don’t know why guys get so mad about racing hard because that’s literally what we’re paid to do… And it’s definitely mind-blowing how sensitive some guys are…” Albeit, not a direct dig at Erik Jones, the 29-year-old made his views clear on how he felt about the dramatic situation.

 

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Furthermore, he responded to Jones’ recent claims of the wreck being “more on him (Briscoe)” rather than being a completely unrelated incident. “If I felt like there was more to it I would be totally fine with him coming down there screaming at me, doing whatever.” An honest proclamation.

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As they wait for the concrete to heat up on top of the new Goodyear tires for the race on Sunday, Briscoe is at 19th in the points table, and Erik Jones is one spot above him at 18th. The Food City 500 will shake up that parity, stepping into the theater that is the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Read More: “Still Mad”: Jimmie Johnson’s Spearhead Unmasks Fiery Dynamic With Chase Briscoe After Phoenix Clash