ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Chase Briscoe’s ascension in racing to NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contender got started with a school paper.
He didn’t it write, though.
While his father, Kevin, stood in line to enter a race track in Bloomington, Ind., a woman turned to him and asked when would the younger Briscoe would start racing.
Briscoe’s grandfather, Richard Briscoe, owned a sprint car team for more than 40 years. Drivers for him include some of the best dirt track racers ever, including Dave Blaney, Chuck Amati and Steve Kinser.
Briscoe’s father was a highly successful sprint car racer in his own right, winning more than 150 features in a 20-year career and six track championships, including five at Bloomington Speedway.
Despite the family roots planted in racing, there wasn’t a push for the youngest Briscoe to become a third-generation racer. That was despite, at 7 years old, winning the heat race and the feature in a quarter midget the first time he raced.
Four years eventually passed without getting in a race car. He dabbled with other sports, such as baseball and basketball, in that time. Briscoe, now 24, returned to racing at 11 years old and it was because of a school paper that he didn’t write.
The story the woman told Briscoe’s dad changed the lives of the Briscoe family forever because his father didn’t want his son to follow in his footsteps.
“’My son just wrote a paper in high school,'” Briscoe said, recalling the story the woman told his father. “‘It was an A or B paper but he got an F on it because he talked about racing sprint cars in high school.'”
The woman took the paper to the teacher and asked why the paper got an F. The teacher said it wasn’t right for the mom to allow her son to risk his life that way.
The woman, Briscoe said, told the teacher, “’Well, I know where my son is every weekend; I know where he’s at every week. He’s not getting into trouble; he’s not partying.’”
Briscoe admitted that was true for him. Racing kept him out of trouble growing up.
A short time after the exchange between that teacher and the mother, the teacher’s teen-aged son was picked up for drinking and driving.
“It just clicked for my dad,” Briscoe said.
Briscoe had already been begging to get into racing. That school paper largely convinced his dad to allow him to try it.
“My dad didn’t really want me to race,” said Briscoe.
He said he doesn’t think about that paper often. If he wrote it, maybe he’d remember it or treasure it more. He said it’s strange, but also neat how things can come full circle, especially for him and his racing career.
But that paper was the door of opportunity opening and Briscoe capitalized.