Chase Briscoe: Joe Gibbs Racing is ‘the Opportunity of a Lifetime’

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – The chance to move from a NASCAR Cup Series team owned by one NASCAR Hall of Famer to another proved to be an opportunity that Chase Briscoe couldn’t pass up.

Currently the Mitchell, IN native drives for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), co-owned by three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart. About a month ago SHR announced that they would be shutting down following the completion of 2024 season.

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Photo by NKP/Nigel Kinrade Photography.

Less than two weeks later, Briscoe had found his landing place for 2025 and beyond. 2017 champion Martin Truex Jr. announced at Iowa Speedway that he would be retiring from full-time competition at the end of the year. That opened Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR)’s No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry XSE owned by multi-time championship winning team owner Joe Gibbs.

Though he has one Cup win, and 11 NASCAR Xfinity Series wins, including nine in 2020 alone, the stats don’t tell the whole story for Briscoe. The 29-year-old spent time sleeping on future teammate Christopher Bell’s couch as he pursued his racing dream. Briscoe also took opportunities that Bell had informed him about, one which sent the current SHR driver to Cunningham Motorsports and the 2016 ARCA Menards Series championship.

“Here’s the deal that I thought really kind of rang true to me on Chase, obviously, when you’re doing this, this is a huge deal for us, our company, the people that work here this is becomes a huge decision,” Gibbs said. “We went through this for months and we thought that I don’t know how many potential people that could come to our car.

“I think what really hit all of us besides Chase and his background, you go back and look at Xfinity, he won nine races that year and you see some of the other things he’s done. He’s already won in Cup, but the thing when you hear him sit and talk about his background and the sacrifices he made to race, I think that hit Johnny (Morris, founder CEO of Bass Pro Shops).”

Like Truex, Briscoe shares an interest with Morris and Bass Pro Shops. The Cup Series driver fishes with his son and has a fishpond in his backyard. Ultimately Briscoe fits into the culture of both JGR and the organization’s longtime sponsor Bass Pro Shops.

“Chase is a big outdoors guy,” Gibbs explained. “He’s got a fishpond in the back of his house there, so they shared a lot of things there too, but I think his story and the way he sacrificed to do what he does was really, really impressive. It impressed Johnny and I but also, we have to win. When we came down to the end, we think Chase can win and so that’s where we are, and it’s a thrill for us to have him come in on board and he’ll be taking over at the 19 car.”

For Briscoe, in addition to the opportunity in the No. 19 car, he was interested in trying to get some of the same bass in his fishpond that are in the aquariums at Bass Pro Shops.

“I’m an outdoorsman myself,” Briscoe said. “I love hunting and fishing. Literally, my son and I fish almost every single day. When I met Johnny for the first time, I was trying to figure out where I can get some of those bass in the aquarium as the bass in my house are not that big.”

Although Briscoe’s future teammate accidentally informed the world a little early about him stepping into the No. 19, he’s excited to join the team. The culture and values of JGR match his own, something that starts with team co-owners Joe Gibbs and Heather Gibbs, as well as the team’s president, Dave Alpern. Briscoe has already spent time at the shop learning about the team and its’ philosophy.

“I think it’s the worst kept secret in the sport for a while now,” Briscoe joked. “Christopher, I guess, just couldn’t hold it in any longer. But yeah, super exciting to come to an organization where I feel like it matches my values and just the culture over here is different than wherever I’ve been before. It starts at the top with Joe, Dave, and Heather Gibbs. It’s been fun for a couple weeks now to learn that side of them and see what makes them as successful as they are.

“That’s the thing I’m excited about to come over next year and try to just add to that in any capacity I can. Obviously, they have amazing racecars, amazing people over here and then to do it, with what Joe was saying, with an iconic brand like Bass Pro Shops.

“It’s going to be an incredible opportunity for me, the opportunity of a lifetime. Like Joe was saying, all the sacrifices I’ve had to go through during my career to finally come here and hopefully show what I can do.”

Briscoe recognizes that taking over the No. 19 Toyota is daunting. He’s the fourth driver to take the wheel of JGR’s No. 19 after Carl Edwards, Daniel Suarez, and Truex. Prior to the Mayetta, NJ native’s time at JGR and Furniture Row Racing (FRR) he had two victories. After FRR moved to Toyota in 2016, and Truex to JGR in 2019, the future Hall of Fame driver earned 31 victories, 15 of which were with JGR.

Truex also earned 59 top-five and 107 top-10s during his time at JGR. In that tenure he also continued racking up Stage wins, becoming the all-time leader in Cup in the category with 64 Stage wins.

Briscoe believes that his career path could mirror the one that Truex has had.  

“It’s obviously big shoes to fill,” Briscoe admitted. “Martin is an incredible racecar driver, first-ballot Hall-of-Famer in my opinion. When he came over here, I think he had two wins, before he went to Furniture Row and Joe Gibbs, and that’s kind of the same situation I’m in right now, so hopefully I can have the same type of career as Martin where this was the skyrocket for him and hopefully be here for a really long time.”

Before Briscoe gets into the No. 19 in 2025, there’s still 18 races remaining in the 2024 Cup Series season. Currently he is 16th in the points standings, 215 behind leader Kyle Larson and 25 below the playoff cutline, held by Joey Logano.

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