How Tony Stewart pranked Chase Briscoe over 2021 Cup graduation
Chase Briscoe has revealed how Tony Stewart pranked him with hidden cameras when he was told he’d be racing in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021 – and for a hero that Briscoe used to dress up as to play the NASCAR video game.
Speaking on Fox Sport’s Race Hub show, Briscoe revealed the full story of his awe at getting to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in the #14 Ford that Stewart himself used to race.
“To grow up in Southern Indiana, we both grew up racing sprint cars, primarily non-winged sprint cars, just our backgrounds are so similar in essence,” said Briscoe. “I was always a diehard Tony fan. You know, I'd wear his helmet and the uniform when I would play my sprint car video game, play my NASCAR video game. And I would always pick Tony [as the driver in the game].
“And it's just so crazy to look back on. And when I signed with Ford, I always would tell my dad it'd be a dream come true to get a drive at Stewart-Haas Racing. And now to be able to drive the #14 car [in the Cup Series]. Hopefully I can do it for many years to come. But to know that I'm going to get my first Cup start at the Daytona 500 driving for my hero is just unbelievable.”
Briscoe also told the story of how Stewart broke the news to him, thinking he was going to dinner with sponsor HighPoint to persuade them to stay on board – while not knowing that they’d already signed up for his Cup ride in 2021.
“Tony called me probably three or four months ago, at like 11 o'clock at night,” said Briscoe. “So I thought that was, you know, something pretty serious at that time so I picked up and we just kind of chit-chatted for a little bit. Then he said 'let's get down to business' and told me that the #14 car was going to be mine. He didn't want me to go anywhere. He just wasn't sure if it was gonna be in 2021 or 2022.
“Fast forward probably two months, I would say around three weeks ago, he sent his plane down to North Carolina, told me and my family to come meet him at his house, that [sponsor] HighPoint was going to be there. HighPoint had been signed up for nearly two weeks, and it was all just a big scheme to get me up there and not know that they were already signed up.
“At the end of dinner that night, somehow the word 'chance' got brought up and he said 'speaking of chances', and I'm sitting at the dinner table, I'm like, man, here it is, he's gonna put them on the spot. This is gonna be the moment… and I got to find out that it was already done!
“He said, 'We're gonna give you a chance to race the #14 car next year'. And you know, it was a moment I'll never forget, getting to experience that. You know, with my family. My wife didn't get to go – I absolutely hate that she wasn't there – she had a doctor's appointment that day.
“To be able to experience that the way Tony did it. Now, he had hidden cameras in his house and said that you’re only told you’re going Cup racing for the first time once, and I wanted to be special, something you remember forever.
“So, Tony just did that in an absolutely class-act way and it's certainly something I'll never forget.”
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