MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Chase Briscoe led 109 laps in the 400-lap NASCAR Cup Series main event at Martinsville Speedway en route to his second consecutive top five finish in the 2023 schedule.
“It would’ve been more of a statement if we won the race, obviously,” Briscoe shared after the race.
Late in Sunday’s NOCO 400, the cards looked to be playing in Briscoe’s favor until the last set of pit stops shuffled the field. Briscoe was able to maintain track position, but didn’t have enough to close the gap and pass the few cars needed to secure his second career Cup victory.
However, it wasn’t just Briscoe who ran strong. Stewart Haas Racing, who as an organization has struggled week over week, had something to cheer about. All four drivers qualified in the top 10 and was in the mix for the win all race long. Ryan Preece led the most laps until a pit road speeding penalty knocked him back. 2014 Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick led 20 laps and Aric Almirola never left the top 10 running positions. Altogether, the four drivers led 264 laps around the 0.526-mile oval, and while no one took home the iconic grandfather clock, it was a statement worth holding their heads high.
“I thought, as a company, we had a really good day. All four cars were in contention. I felt like a Stewart-Haas car probably should’ve won the race and we just couldn’t catch the breaks we needed there at the end, but, overall, a great day. That’s something that, as a company, we needed to go and run up front. All four cars were really competitive. I wish one of us would’ve won the race, but you’ll have that.”
Next weekend, the schedule takes NASCAR from their shortest track to the longest oval on their schedule, Talladega Superspeedway. As of late, SHR has made vast improvements to their superspeedway efforts and Briscoe knows they have an opportunity that only comes once in a blue moon.
“We’ll go on to next week and, hopefully, we can continue this speed and this momentum as a company.”