CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 — Performance Racing School Ford Mustang — WINNER’S INTERVIEWWE KNOW WHAT YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH, BUT WHAT A WAY TO END THE WEEK WITH A WIN.  “Yeah, this is for my wife.  This has been the hardest week I’ve ever had to deal with and God is so good.  Even when I took the lead with 50 to go I was crying inside the race car and just emotionally I wasn’t there at all.  There’s nothing else to say other than God is just so glorious.  Obviously, I’m happy to get and Ford Performance Racing School in victory lane, but this is more than a race win.  This is the biggest day of my life after the toughest day in my life, and to be able to beat the best there is is so satisfying.”

IT’S BEEN A TOUGH WEEK.  “This is the best thing that could happen, honestly.  For those that don’t know, we had a miscarraige Tuesday of our daughter and, to be honest with you, I wasn’t sure what racing we would do.  At the initial start I was all over the place emotionally, and then when I had the lead with 50 to go I was just making so many mistakes because I was literally crying inside of the race car.  God is so good.  To be able to do this and it’s all because of Him.  Before when I got dressed I prayed that whatever His will is just let it be done today.  I knew he was gonna have a high because of the low and it’s just unbelievable to win here at Darlington and to beat Kyle Busch doing it.”

TALK ABOUT THE FINAL LAP.  “I just kept making a lot of mistakes down there.  Like I was saying emotionally I wasn’t there.  Getting into one I knew that there was no way he was gonna drive in deeper than me.  I wasn’t gonna let it happen.  He was gracious enough to at least leave me a little bit of a lane and it was a heck of a race.”

WHAT DOES THIS WIN MEAN?  “This is the number one win.  Honestly, winning the Daytona 500 couldn’t even top the feeling of just, like I was saying earlier, the ups and downs.  This is what my family needed and what my wife needed.”

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 — MoneyLion Ford Mustang — YOU RAN IN THE TOP 10 ALL DAY, BUT COULDN’T GET THE LEAD.  “I think it was definitely a three-part afternoon.  Obviously, we did a good job of at least unloading close enough.  We had a little bit of a hiccup there with a tach that didn’t work, so I wasn’t able to quite maximize pit road speed today.  Finishing fourth today, I thought we did overachieve a little bit.  I thought we were just outside of being a top five car, but as a team I think we did a great job of making our car better throughout the race from the first lap to every change and so on, so I’m proud of that.  I think that’s a team effort and it’s good to get back in that kind of rhythm being back, and I guess the third part — restarts are fun, restarts are crazy.  After I cleared the nine there for fourth I think for the next three laps all I did was watch Chase try and win the race.  With as much that’s going on in his life that’s a big moment for him and his family and being friends with him that’s pretty cool to see.  Obviously, if I can’t win I want another Ford to win, so I’m glad we were able to push him there, but I want it to be us in Charlotte, for sure.”

WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN CHASE CHOSE THE TOP LANE FOR THE FINAL RESTART AND YOU WERE GOING TO BE RIGHT BEHIND HIM?  “I think it’s twofold.  I think the outside lane was pretty dominant in the Cup race.  Our race it was kind of wishy-washy, but I know that he trusts me and I have at least Ford’s best interests compared to the rest of the competition, so my best move is to obviously push him forward and try to get clear myself, so that’s what I tried to do.  It was a pretty even start, but, overall, it was great that we were able to give him the help he needed to be there at the end.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FINALLY BE BACK AT THE TRACK?  “It’s the first normal thing that I’ve done since Phoenix, and the next most normal thing that I’ve done is get on the rowing machine, and that was only two weeks ago, so it’s slim pickens for these things, but everyone is trying to find different ways to find their new normal right now and hopefully having a race on TV, having multiple races on TV now, obviously that doesn’t come without a lot of hard work from NASCAR and the TV partners to make all of this happen, especially with the rain, so I think it’s awesome.  I consider myself very lucky to be in this position.  I have a lot of peers and past teammates and guys that I’ve raced with in other series that don’t quite have this opportunity, so I feel very lucky to be able to get on track in our MoneyLion Ford Mustang today.”

WAS THERE ONE THING THAT STRUCK YOU WITHOUT THE FANS OR THE PROTOCOLS THAT HAVE BEEN PUT IN PLACE BY NASCAR?  “Not particularly.  I guess today we kind of had a preview on Tuesday of what that was all gonna be like, and I think it’s all been pretty well facilitated.  The Cup Series led by example there, so I guess we weren’t the guinea pigs for all this, but not spending a whole lot of time with my team before the race is probably the biggest difference.  I’m a guy that spends a lot of time at the race shop and that’s pretty much all I do.  I’ve got nothing else going on in my life, and I want to keep it that way.  I feel like this is the most important thing and this is what I love doing, so not being able to see those guys was difficult for me.  Even being at the track all day during the rain delay on Tuesday I realized driving home how much I missed that and appreciated that experience.  It’s definitely why I love this sport.”


CHASE BRISCOE, No. 98 Performance Racing School Ford Mustang — WAS THERE ANY PART OF YOU THAT DIDN’T WANT TO COME BACK AND RACE AFTER WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOUR WIFE?  “I knew that in the car would probably be the best therapy, I guess you could say, but I didn’t know really how my reaction was gonna be.  Truthfully, even the whole race I was kind of out of it.  For sure the last 50 laps just emotionally I was kind of all over the place, but it was still good.  I mean, obviously now I’m super glad I came back and raced, but I don’t think there was ever a thought of not going racing just because that’s what we do, and that’s the best therapy, at least for me and my family.  So, there was never a thought about sitting out, but it certainly was tough.  It probably was better that truthfully the race did get postponed to Thursday because we found out Tuesday afternoon, so it was honestly a blessing in disguise that it rained Tuesday and was able to get a couple days at home and then come down here.”

WAS IT BETTER TO BE AROUND YOUR FELLOW COMPETITORS AND CREW MEMBERS?  “Yeah, absolutely.  Even when we announced it you always hear in racing that it’s family and I’ve always seen that from other people whenever they suffer a loss or anything, how the whole community just really wraps their arms around them and  me and my wife were so humbled by the amount of people that reached out.  Fellow competitors, crew chiefs, engineers, people in the sport — officials.  So many people somehow got my number and told me what they had went through, so it was just unbelievable to feel that finally.  Obviously, I don’t wish that upon anybody to feel that, but it just shows how good the racing community is and to come back before the race and everybody coming up to me.  Obviously, we can’t hug, but telling me they were there for me if I need anything, so it was definitely good to get back to the track and see people that really care about me.”

DID SAMANTHA BUSCH REACH OUT TO YOUR WIFE, MARISSA?  “Yes, Samantha reached out yesterday to my wife late afternoon and it meant a lot.  Obviously, Samantha is as close to what my wife can relate to.  Both of their husbands do the same thing, obviously on a little different scale, but they had it even worse than we did.  We were able to get pregnant fairly quick and they’ve struggled to be able to do that, so it was really good for my wife, Marissa, to be able to talk with Samantha.  I want to thank the Busch family.  I haven’t talked to Kyle, but for Samantha to reach out, she didn’t have to do that by any means, so for her to do that and seek out Marissa’s number — Marissa doesn’t really talk to anybody in the racing world, so for her to be able to find her number definitely meant a lot and we want to thank the Busch family for that.”

DID YOU THINK ABOUT NOT TELLING PEOPLE WHAT HAPPENED?  “No, for us we talked about it and now, especially that we announced it, we couldn’t imagine not announcing it just because to have that pent up inside you and nobody know what you’re dealing with, I think, would have been nearly impossible at least for me personally.  To be able to have the support of everybody and, like I was saying earlier, to have people reach out if there was anything we need, and lifting us up in encouragement I’m glad we did it and that’s honestly kind of the way we looked at it.  It’s unfortunate what we were dealt, but we felt like God did it for a reason and we felt like using our platform to maybe help others through it down the road that might be what our calling was, so that was why we did it and then now it’s truly a miracle.  That’s the only way I can put it.  It definitely makes more sense now.  It still doesn’t make it any easier, but definitely makes a lot more sense.”

WHAT WAS RUNNING THROUGH YOUR MIND THE LAST 50 LAPS?  “Even at the start of the race it was like I was in a whole other world.  It was just weird.  I can’t even explain it, and then once we kind of got in a rhythm there my car wasn’t the greatest, so that kind of got me unfocused from what we were dealing with and really focused at trying to get the car better, and then once I got to the lead it was kind of sprinkling a little bit and I was like, ‘What if this thing rains out and I’m in the lead?’  I knew Marissa was home watching and both of our families were at home, and just feeling that weight on my shoulders of if this happens it’s gonna be a big thing for our family.  I even told Marissa on Wednesday like, ‘I’m gonna win this thing for you,’ and I think we both kind of laughed about it, not really believing it, but I told her this could be a huge thing for us.  We just experienced the lowest of lows and this could really be a high that we need right now, so I was just feeling that pressure of trying to put it together.  I got in a little bit of a rhythm and then I just kept screwing up.  My car kept getting really tight and I just kept hitting the wall over and over and over again.  Justin kept getting closer and closer to me and I just wasn’t putting very good laps together, and then Justin got by me and that caution saved me.  My pit crew did a phenomenal job getting me back out in the lead and I pulled away from Kyle on that restart and I knew that I just had to hit my marks, but I just kept screwing up because I knew that Kyle was gonna be coming.  Then I think with three to go he went to the bottom in three and four and made a ton of time on me, so then with two to go I changed my line and then coming to the white flag I did it again.  I hit the wall off of four pretty hard and getting into one there was no way he was gonna drive it any deeper than me.  I wasn’t gonna let it happen, and to be able to drive back around him and then he almost got there in three and four, but just feeling that weight on my shoulders.  I knew what it would mean to my wife.  Like I said, I knew that she was watching.  I knew emotionally what she’s been going through.  It’s been hard for me, but it’s nothing compared to what she feels just because it was inside of her — that connection, that motherly bond — so I was just trying to do everything I could to be there for my wife.  I’m not the greatest at letting my emotions show in being there, so this is kind of my way of putting it all out there for her.”

DID YOU CARRY ANYTHING SPECIAL IN THE CAR TODAY AND HAVE YOU HAD AN EXCHANGE WITH YOUR WIFE?  “I didn’t carry anything in the car.  As soon as I got back I instantly Facetimed her.  I was talking to her and she’s still in not the best mood because of what happened, but it definitely raised her spirits up a little bit, but it’s not by any means swept under the rug.  This is still really serious for us and we’re struggling right now.  It kind of works out that we’re close to home.  Today was really hard just because I was gone all day and then Tuesday when we found out I was two hours away and couldn’t get home.  It doesn’t make it any easier, but definitely is a nice touch.”

WHAT WAS IT LIKE BY YOURSELF AFTER GETTING THE NEWS ABOUT YOUR BABY?  “That was probably the toughest thing.  I was on Facetime with her when we found out and then to see her face and for me not to be able to be there and try to comfort her, that was really hard for me personally and try to figure out how I can be there for her.  I tried to put on a tough face and try to keep her spirits high, and then she finally got home and my family just so happened to be in town.  When she walked in our house and my parents were there to give her a hug, that’s when I finally kind of broke down just because I knew somebody was finally there for her.  But it was really hard on Tuesday, especially we were just sitting in the rain.  I’m wanting to leave, but I know I can’t leave.  It was definitely tough Tuesday and then to get home Tuesday was probably the toughest just because we had been almost eight hours apart from each other since we found out.  Yesterday was good for us and today to have to leave and be gone, and then the rain delay we were worried it wasn’t gonna happen until eight or 10 o’clock tonight.  Luckily, we got going earlier so I can get home earlier.”

WHAT DO YOU DO TO FOCUS WHEN YOU HAVE SO MUCH ON YOUR MIND, AND THIS IS YOUR SECOND WIN.  WHAT DOES THAT DO FOR YOUR GOALS THE REST OF THIS YEAR?  “God was driving the car the last eight or nine laps.  I was emotionally a wreck, all over the place.  I don’t even really remember to be honest with you.  Getting the win is definitely nice, especially after a two month break.  At the start of the race I didn’t think we were that good, truthfully, but we just kept continuing to make it better.  Richard did a really good job of just listening to what I needed.  Every run we got better and better.  I knew we would kind of need a long run to be good, but to get a win, that statement I made earlier in the year to now have two wins out of five races, that certainly helps that cause and to beat Kyle Busch is a big statement.  Obviously, he had to go to the back, but there at the end he started right there beside us and we were able to beat him heads-up.  That means more than anything to me on a personal side.  To be able to beat the best at Darlington, where he’s unbelievable, is certainly a big deal for my confidence.”

IS THAT FINISH A HOLLYWOOD ENDING OF HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO BEAT KYLE BUSCH FOR THE FIRST TIME?  “Yeah, I think so.  Like I was saying earlier, it’s a miracle first and foremost.  Kyle is so good at what he does, especially in the XFINITY Series at Darlington.  He’s gonna be tough to beat at Charlotte, but me and Boswell were talking just this week about how if we do our job, we feel like we’re just as good as anybody that comes through this series, no matter if they come from the upper series or wherever.  When we hit it we feel like we’re really good.  Kyle was probably a little bit better than us and having that track position kind of helped, but even on that long run in stage two I think he was probably toying with us a little bit, but we were able to match his lap time in traffic, so I knew we were good.  If he doesn’t have that penalty it’s hard to say, I probably don’t beat him heads-up, but to be able to start on the front row and, honestly, I thought I was gonna lose the race on that restart because Kyle was pushing Allgaier so good, but to beat Kyle in anything, whether it’s truck, an XFINITY car, a Cup car, heck, even a go-kart you’ve done something because he’s that good.  I mean, he’s one of the best of all-time, so to be able to beat him is nice.  It’s nice to beat him once, but we want to beat him more than once.  We want to do it consistently, so that’s what we’re trying to do at Charlotte next week.”

HOW TENATIVE WERE YOU EARLY IN THE RACE AFTER SUCH A LONG LAYOFF?  “The first lap was pretty chaotic.  You had different experienced guys where they were starting.  Some guys were making their first start at Darlington, so, honestly,  I was the most nervous I think I’ve ever been in the race car.  It took me back to the first time I ever got in a stock car, just feeling all those nerves, what is this thing gonna do?  Like I was saying earlier, my head wasn’t really 100 percent there.  It was definitely tough even physically.  It was way harder than I remember it being.  My ribs were killing me the first run and my arms are really sore right now just because we haven’t done it for so long and kind of fell out of that race shape.  It was way hotter than I remember it being and it really wasn’t even that hot out today, so definitely getting back in the race car was different.  I’m glad we were back, obviously, but it was definitely weird.  I thought it was gonna be more kind of like riding a bike, but probably some of that is probably Darlington and how tough this place is and how different it is from everywhere else we go.  I’m sure Charlotte would be a little bit easier to just unload and go for the first race back after two and a half months, but I thought the field did a really good job of that first run even.  Truthfully, I thought we would all wreck in turn one and we did a really good job as a field of kind of figuring it out and managing it all.”

MORE SATISFYING WITH THE FACT KYLE HAD TWO RACES UNDER HIS BELT ALREADY?  “Yeah, I mean that’s a huge advantage.  Even at the start of the race, a perfect example.  Obviously, we know he’s gonna drive through the field just being who he is and where he started, but he’s got 600 miles around here already, so that’s a huge benefit to have that amount of laps and he’s just sharper than all of us physically, mentally, figuring out what he needs in his race car, so, yeah, it’s definitely gratifying to beat Kyle any time, but when he had a little bit of an advantage it definitely makes it nice and hopefully this shows, like the statement I was saying earlier, I feel like if we keep doing this and I continue to learn, hopefully it shows that I’m ready to potentially move up.”

WHEN WILL IT SET IN THAT YOU BEAT KYLE BUSCH?  “Honestly, I feel like it already has in a sense.  I was balling my eyes out the last quarter lap once I knew I beat him off of four and all the way around the cool down lap.  But, honestly, the last six or seven laps looking out my mirror and seeing Kyle it was just like a Hollywood story.  I just had a feeling it was gonna come down to me and him.  I didn’t realize it was gonna be as close as it was, but I had a feeling that it was just meant to be and I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was gonna beat him, especially when it got down to two to go, but I had a peace about it and whatever happened happened, I was gonna be OK with it.  But it was definitely funny and ironic how it all worked out with all the circumstances for sure.”

DID YOU DO ANY iRACE PRACTICING AT DARLINGTON BEFORE THE RACE?  “I ran the NASCAR races on iRacing, but I didn’t do anything at Darlington.  I just watched video and SMT like I normally do.  I didn’t do any iRacing stuff this week.  Truthfully, I’ve been kind of burned out of it just because we’ve been doing it so much lately, so I didn’t do any of the iRacing stuff this week.  Typically, I do try to get on there and run at least a race at whatever track we’re coming up to, but this week I was just kind of burned out of iRacing because we’ve been doing it 24/7 and I just kind of needed a break, so I took a break and just did my normal video and SMT stuff.”

WERE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT WHEEL SPIN ON THE LAST RESTART?  “I was more worried about starting on the outside, truthfully.  Almost every start I started on the inside which typically is a disadvantage at Darlington.  Noah gave me a really good push with I think 50 to go or whatever restart that was, and the last restart I literally contemplated in my head back and forth.  I knew Kyle is normally, typically one of the best at pushing, but I knew Cindric was gonna be behind me in a Ford and I knew that he was gonna do everything he could.  He’s one of my best friends, so I knew he was gonna push for all it was worth.  Me and my spotter talked about it back and forth.  HIs gut told him the top and, truthfully, my gut kind of told me the bottom, but I went with the top and it ended up working out.”

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