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Briscoe, in his No. 14 Ford, rookie Ty Gibbs in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and Kyle Larson in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet participated Tuesday in a Goodyear tire test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The test, which concludes Wednesday, was held to test various tire combinations in preparation for the May 28 Coca-Cola 600 on the 1.5-mile oval.
While last year’s 600 featured two overtimes, 18 cautions and lasted well over five hours, it was considered one of the most entertaining races of the 2023 with the Cup Series’ Next Gen car.
Briscoe, who finished fourth in last year’s 600, hopes the extra opportunity to test can help change his team’s fortunes this season.
“It’s super important in today’s landscape of NASCAR with no testing and not very much practice. Anytime you can get in a car and have data on your car, it’s a huge benefit,” he said. “For us, it’s been a little bit of a struggle to start the season.
“We’ve been kind of scratching our head on a couple of things, so it’s nice to come out here today and kind of go through some things and get back to where we were.
“This place is one of the hardest places to tire test because it’s always changing. In May, the temperatures are going to be way different – the track is going to age even more by then – but getting laps is always a big deal.”
Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, Goodyear test at Charlotte
Photo by: CMS/HHP
Briscoe said he felt last year’s 600 was one of his best opportunities to pick up a win on an intermediate track.
“It was one I feel like we kind of let slip away. I feel like this was one of our stronger races last year, so it would be kind of nice to have that again,” he said. “We definitely want to get a Coca-Cola 600.
“It’s one of the crown jewels, so you want to win that race. I know last year, that’s the one race that still kind of eats me up. Hopefully we can get some redemption this year.”
So far this season, Briscoe has one top-10 finish – seventh at Phoenix – and is mired in 24th in the series standings after six races.
Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, Goodyear test at Charlotte
Photo by: CMS/HHP
“We’ve had races where we’ve just been off, some where we’ve got a car that is good, but we get too far behind to start and can’t make up ground. Then, we’ve just had some races where we get caught up in someone else’s problem,” Briscoe said.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s nothing we haven’t dealt with before. There are always ups and downs in this sport and, in the end, it comes down to who is able to keep pushing forward to find a way
to be better. I know we’ve got the team that can do that, so we’ll keep working hard and hopefully it turns around for us soon.”