Two years later, at 13, Briscoe finished 10th in a 40-car field in his first 410 sprint car race. That season he started 37 features, had eight top-five finishes and 17 top-10s. In the last race of the season, he won at Bloomington. The win broke Jeff Gordon’s record as the youngest winner of a 410 sprint car race by one year. He drove to the victory in a car with a motor older than he was, an old chassis and older components.
“It was super cool,” Briscoe said. “When I was 13, we just ran one track; it was called Paragon. The reason we went there was no matter how many cars showed up, everybody ran the feature. It gave us guaranteed track time every week.”
Things turned serious in pursuit of a possible racing career in 2013 when he was 18 years old. He applied for the Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge, a contest rewarding the winner with a ride with Michael Waltrip Racing. Briscoe finished second to Patrick Staropoli, who graduated from Harvard University and has a doctorate from the University of Miami Medical School.
Afterward, Briscoe said he wasn’t sure where his racing career was headed. He had seven feature wins in a sprint car on his resume. He also knew he didn’t have a strong financial backing as a local race team.
“I was never a standout guy,” Briscoe said.
But his performance with the program didn’t go unnoticed.
“Ty Norris was the general manager at Michael Waltrip Racing at the time,” Briscoe said. “At the end of the show he said, ‘If you’re serious about this, you probably need to move (to North Carolina). I think you can do it.’
“I remember my dad kicked me out of the room. He told me this after he asked Ty straight up, ‘Just let me know if you’re BS’ing us, if he doesn’t have it just let me know. We’ll just sell everything. It’s not worth it.”
Norris’ response sold Briscoe’s father.
“Ty said, ‘Kevin, my son wanted to be a Major League Baseball player and I had to tell him he wasn’t good enough. Your son is good enough if he wants to do it,’” Briscoe recalled.
That bold statement resonated with the Briscoe family and the pursuit of a full-time racing career was on. He volunteered at several race shops, including Bob and Brian Keselowski’s shop, and eventually landed at Cunningham Motorsports in the ARCA Menards Series.
In 2016, Briscoe won six races, with 14 top-fives and 18 top-10s in 20 races, and won the ARCA championship. A year later, he raced in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series, winning one race and finishing sixth in the points. He ran part-time in the Xfinity Series in 2018, but scored a win at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.
In 2019, he has one win – which came at Iowa Speedway – and is in the hunt for the series championship.
“I feel like we’re peaking at the right time,” Chase said.